The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has launched a probe following evidences emerging about Kashmiri separatist leaders receiving funds from Pakistan-based terror outfits and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The amount received by the Kashmiri separatists from Pakistan in last one year, to keep the turmoil in Kashmir active, could run into several hundred crores. The funds are used for attacking security forces by carrying stone pelting, burning schools and other government buildings.
The Kashmiri separatists, who want to disintegrate Kashmir from the rest of India, claim to represent the “political views” on Kashmir. They depute stone pelters to attack security forces. A stone pelter is generally paid Rs 500 to Rs 1000 every day. This is an open secret that the separatists work in tandem with terrorists operating in the valley. The separatist-stone pelters-terrorists nexus is also getting political patronage. In the run up to Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah said those who pelt stones are just fighting for the nation.
Reports quoting officials at the North Block state that the funds from Pakistan, which is directly monitored by Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, comes via gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and other places before it reaches to the separatists through hawala route.
Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Naeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Gazi Javed Baba are under NIA radar. The NIA team will question Geelani and other Hurriyat leaders soon. The NIA will check the bank accounts details of the separatist leaders to ascertain the exact amount they received from Pakistan.
The NIA probe came days after an expose done by India Today television channel showed several separatist leaders confessing to receiving funds from across the boarder. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said that the fact that Hurriyat leaders were taking money from Pakistan was already known in “informed circles” and they have to be treated as insurgents.
The separatists are basically superimposing terrorism by radicalising youth with the help of Pakistan. In its annual report for 2016-17, the MHA had stated that the year 2016 saw a change in Pakistan’s tactics following strategy of superimposition of militancy over “civil resistance” through radicalisation by vested interest groups and social media.
Reports suggest that terror masterminds across the border are covertly planning a new terrorist organisation in J&K, with focus on ex-Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa. Recently, Musa had threatened to chop the heads of separatist Hurriyat Conference leaders “if they create hurdles in the path of making Kashmir an Islamic state”.
In the wake of widening conflict between key stakeholders of violence in Kashmir, Pakistan is reportedly trying to rebrand its Kashmir uprising strategy. Reports further suggest that Pakistan is attempting a repeat of its Kashmir strategy of the 1990s, when the only terror organisation —Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) — was eventually replaced with many new outfits by 1993-94.
According to intelligence estimate, 250 terrorists are currently active in Jammu & Kashmir. South Kashmir is turning into the hotbed of home-grown militancy with around 100 terrorists reportedly operate in the area. Recently, the Army launched ‘Operation Clean Up’ to flush south Kashmir of terrorists.