According to information shared by the Home Ministry with the Estimates Committee of the Parliament, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is training Sikh youth to revive the Khalistani terrorist movement in India. The Ministry admitted that the use of the internet to radicalize the youth with provocative and false propaganda is a significant challenge to the security agencies.
The panel headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi tabled the report in the Parliament on Monday. The report titled ‘Central Armed Police Forces and Internal Security Challenges — Evaluation and Response Mechanism’ said, “…commanders (of Sikh militancy) based in Pakistan are under pressure from ISI to further ISI’s plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country. Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed the use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks.”
An MHA note to the committee read, “The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers, etc. to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Activities of radicalised people returning from conflict areas and the threat of lone wolf attack are also a challenge.”
Sikhs settled in Europe, the United States and Canada are also being targeted for radicalization but appropriate agencies are keeping a close watch over the situation and taking lawful action as and when required. The Ministry told the panel that India continues to be the prime focus of Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad.