Pak nurturing terror in J&K with drug money

12 September 2008
The Hindustan Times
Arjun Sharma

Jammu: Terrorism has been largely funded in Jammu and Kashmir by the cultivation and sale of high quality cannabis in South Kashmir and the pumping in of narcotics by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The sale of narcotics has been the main source of funding of terrorists by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. MK Sharma, Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau in Jammu and Kashmir, said that drug proceeds are laundered through numerous legal and illegal financial institutions and petty business enterprises. He said Pakistan has been trying hard to pump in drugs, fake currency and arms and ammunition into J&K for several years. Sharma disclosed that to a large extent the narcotics trade enables the ISI to pay Rs 25-30 crore as wages to terrorists active in J&K every month. In fact, right from 1947 to 2003, the Inter Services Intelligence, army and the Pakistan government are together in ˜Operation Terrorism' be it in J&K, Punjab or Assam, he said. In a country like India, which has been facing terrorism for many years, 25 per cent of terrorism is funded by the money generated by trafficking of narcotic drugs. Sharma said there is a strong nexus of terrorists and drug peddlers in Jammu and Kashmir. Referring to the cultivation of poppy and cannabis in J&K, especially in the South Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Anatnag, Sharma said, Though licences have been issued to cultivators in South Kashmir, the licences are being misused by the growers.