Two more PoK visitors turn out to be ISI agents

27 November 2009
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU: Tufail Hussain Shah, a cross-LoC visitor is not the only guest from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), who has been found linked to militancy. Shah’s questioning has revealed that another PoK visitor Mudassar Hussain Shah alias Babbu Shah, a resident of Panaag Sharief, PoK, is a hit man of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and was presently putting up at Chajla, Mendhar after his travel to Poonch in weekly bus service from Chakan-Da-Bagh about 20 days back. Yet another ISI agent has managed to return to PoK after more than a month long stay in Mendhar. Babbu Shah is being searched by police. His passport and permit have been impounded. He is reported to have married a Fazlabad, Surankote woman, who happened to be wife of a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant, presently detained in a Jammu jail. Official sources said Tufail, who has become first legal visitor from PoK to be booked under Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act (mostly slapped on militants), has spilled beans during his sustained interrogation by all important security and Intelligence agencies (both from the State and the Centre) at Joint Interrogation Centre (JIC), Jammu. Sources said Tufail is reported to have named an ISI hit man Mudassar Hussain Shah alias Babbu Shah alias Babbu Peer son of Habib Shah, a resident of Panag Sharief, PoK, who had entered Poonch on weekly Poonch-Rawlakote bus service on a valid permit. Habib Shah, a Peer also travelled with his son but, according to sources, he was not aware of his son’s ISI connections. Babbu Shah, according to sources, had intentionally been planted by the ISI to Poonch as a cross-LoC visitor to co-ordinate activities with the militants in Mendhar and enroll some local youths into the militancy. Under a strategy to facilitate his frequent visits to Poonch on the bus service, Babbu Shah married Sobia daughter of late Abdul Hamid Malik, who worked as a Pharmacist R-o Fazlabad, Surankote soon after his arrival from PoK. Sobia was earlier married to a top LeT militant, who was captured by police and is presently lodged in Kot Bhalwal jail. Babbu Shah married Sobia within a couple of days of his arrival from PoK about 20 days back, which made security agencies believe that the marriage was pre-planned and Sobia might have also been won over by the ISI and its mentors and asked to marry Babbu to ensure his stay on this side is extended and he was able to visit Poonch again. According to sources, Babbu Shah’s arrest is on cards. His passport, which he had brought with him and permit of Poonch-Rawlakote route, have been impounded by the administration to ensure that he didn’t manage to escape. Security agencies and police were reported to have fanned out in Chajla, Mendhar to apprehend Babbu Shah. Tufail is reported to have disclosed that Akram Shah, who had given him the satellite telephone was in fact a Personal Assistant in the Office of Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Rawlakote. Akram was reportedly working for the ISI and had been given satellite telephone and Pakistani SIM cards by a Pakistan Army officer. A fabricate steel trunk to conceal satellite phone and its accessories besides the SIM cards were also given to Tufail by Akram. Akram Shah, sources said, had also visited Poonch as a cross-LoC visitor and stayed in Mendhar for about a month before returning to PoK. Security agencies were tracing his permit number to ascertain the name of persons in whose house he had stayed. Akram was too on a mission in Mendhar which could be revealed by Babbu Shah during his questioning. Tufail was told that Babbu Shah would collect the satellite telephone from him at Poonch Bus Stand after speaking a coded message ‘Peer Saheb Ne Beja Hai’. According to reports, Babbu Shah had reached Poonch from Mendhar on Monday to collect satellite telephone from Tufail. However, he slipped away and returned to Mendhar after getting reports that the phone has been detected and Tufail arrested by police. Sources said Babbu Shah’s father, Habib Shah was in Chajla, Mendhar for last over a month and his stay has recently been extended for another month. Both father-son duo had reached Poonch together on permits. According to sources, Babbu Shah had been tasked by the ISI to hand over satellite telephone to a Lashkar commander. Name of the commander, they said, would be known only once Babbu Shah is arrested and subjected to sustained interrogation. Babbu Shah, when arrested, will become second legal visitor from PoK to be booked in a militancy case under Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act. While security agencies have decided not to detain Habib Shah, a decision on whether to arrest Sobia would be taken after the questioning of Babbu to know whether she had militant connections or not. According to sources, the confirmed ISI connection of three cross-LoC visitors so far has created doubts among security agencies that some of the visitors are being used by the ISI and Pakistan Army to serve their purpose.