December 2002 News

Lahore''s hawala operators have links in J&K

13 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
B L Kak

Jammu: Latest intelligence inputs furnished to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs have revealed a tie-up between hawala operators in Lahore and some separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. Giving this information to EXCELSIOR, a top official source said that disclosures, made by some captured ultras in the course of their questioning by a team of intelligence sleuths, had also covered the unpublished operations of others as well, such as fundamentalist preachers in Pakistani city of Bahawalpur and gun-runners in Karachi, linked to the ''service station'' of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). According to the source, nearly a dozen individual operators in Kashmir and in Doda and Rajouri districts are under observation. Four of these operators, the source said, owed their allegiance to the Hurriyat Conference. Lahoreís hawala operators, the source divulged, had also managed to have their conduits in some other places in the country, including Delhi,Amritsar, Ferozepur, Taran Taran,Kanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Lucknow. If the intelligence inputs are to be believed, explosive experts in Peshawar are also in the picture, with Pakistanís ISI having created a haven for some of these experts in Nepal, where the presence of an unspecified number of India-bound arms suppliers and carriers is already known. The source said that a document available with the Government contained ''broad'' details of how the ISI had, in recent times, brought together individual operators to function as a deadly unit against India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. When asked to elabore, the source explained that as the ISI had come across some disadvantages in the ''earlier'' arrangement allowing different agencies in Pakistan to operate differently, a new arrangement was put in place to make the the ''sword'' deadlier. Hence, the ''unified command'' of hawala operators of Lahore, gun-runners of Karachi, explosive experts of Peshawar and fundamentalist preachers of Bahawalpur. The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr LK Advani, who also holds Home portfolio, made a significant comment on ISI after he was apprised of the emergence of the ISI-sponsored ''unified command''. He defined ISI module (anywhere in India) as one of the ''biggest sustainable'' sources of terrorism in the country. More than 210 ISI modules have been liquidated in operations coordinated by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in various States, including J&K, between January 1998 and November 2002, official source informed EXCELSIOR. ''The tale is not over. Some 200 to 220 ISI modules are, at present, under observation across the country'', the source said in reply to a question. The source had yet another tale to tell. It was about the user of cell phone (9845386748). The cell phone was used by him to keep himself in touch with his ''sponsors'' in Pakistan, until he walked into the police trap in Delhi. The arrested youth,Sheikh by name, who hails from Lal Bazar locality of Srinagar, had made Bangalore as his hideout. He had spent more than 10 days in Jammu, before proceeding to Bangalore, where he invested money on running a handicraft business. The area chosen by him in Bangalore was White Field. His e-mail address was: The youth from Lal Bazar of Srinagar had, before his arrest, managed to develop his friend circle not only in Bangalore but also in Delhi. He, as revealed by officials, had arrived in Delhi recently to firm up plans (with his friends) for blowing up the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore. However, his dream was shattered when he was nabbed by the Delhi Police on a tip-off from the Intelligence Bureau.


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