ISI's New Weapons: Agents Of Influence, Sleeper Cells
14 September 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has now created 'Agents of Influence' alongside sleeper cells to give a boost to their propaganda machinery and project the 'cause of militants'. To spread militant activities in entire country instead of confining it to Jammu and Kashmir and metros, Pakistan army had also upgraded 'ISI North' wing, set up specially for beefing up militancy in J&K to 'ISI India-Bangladesh' to bring all parts of India in the grip of militancy. This information has been revealed by a recently arrested Pakistani militant, Zaffar Iqbal of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit during his interrogation. Zaffar was captured by police in an injured condition from a rented house at Hyderpora, Janipura when his Pakistani associate and JeM 'divisional commander' Saifullah Qari was killed. Zaffar had infiltrated into Indian territory only two months before he was trapped. Zaffar, according to sources, being a part of Jaish outfit, was very close to ISI hierarchy. He disclosed that the ISI has created a 'special fund' of Rs 50 crore for disbursement among 'Agents of Influence' and sleeper cells not only in Jammu and Kashmir but other important Indian cities as well. The funds were to be distributed as a part of hawala money through over ground network of different militant outfits. Rs 6 lakh cash recovered from the house where Saifullah Qari was killed and Zaffar Iqbal was injured was meant for purchasing laptops worth Rs 3 lakh while rest of the amount was to be disbursed among the 'Agents of Influence'. These 'Agents of Influence', sources said, had been assigned the task of stepping-up propaganda machinery in support of militants and campaign against security forces by raising the bogey of human rights violations. Earlier also, there were such agents active in several parts of country but, according to Zaffar Iqbal's statement, the ISI has decided to rope-in more such agents who yield considerable influence in the society. It is for this purpose that the ISI has kept a huge amount at the disposal of militants for disbursement among 'Agents of Influence'. Sources said Pakistan army has also upgraded its 'ISI North' wing to 'ISI India-Bangladesh' with a view to step up militant activities all across the country which was evident from recent blasts at Hyderabad and involvement of a Manipur youth in militancy in J&K. The Manipur youth, arrested recently from Basantgarh, Udhampur, was the first militant from North East to be arrested for his involvement in militancy here. Also, Intelligence network of Bangladesh has started working for the ISI, which was also revealed by the Manipur militant, who had undergone arms training at Chittagong in Bangladesh. He had disclosed that ISI officials were frequent visitors to militant training camps being run by Bangladesh Intelligence agencies in their territory. Zaffar Iqbal's questioning has further revealed that sleeper cells of militant outfits like JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) have been activated by the ISI and their agents in the State in large number who were helping militants create their support base, hide-outs and find out dumping grounds for arms and ammunition besides couriers for smuggling explosives and arms.