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Home > News > PTI

Does ISI have a new anti-India operation?

May 27, 2007 18:51 IST

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A former Indian army officer has claimed that Pakistan's ISI has launched a 'new' anti-India operation through  Bangladesh, while Chinese support to insurgency in the Northeast has 'not fully dried up'.

"The Chinese stopped supporting insurgency in the Northeast in 1979. But intelligence reports indicate that the Chinese support has not fully dried up," retired Brig Dr S P Sinha, who was commissioned in the 9 Gorkha Rifles and served
the region for decades, said in a recent book.

Regarding Pakistan's role, he said Bangladesh was being developed as a new base for its 'anti-India operations' and
Pakistan has reportedly 'shifted almost 200 terrorist training camps from Pak-occupied Kashmir to Bangladesh'.

The book Lost Opportunities: 50 years of Insurgency in the Northeast and India's Response, brought out by Lancer Publishers, deals with insurgency -- ranging from Manipur and Nagaland to Assam and covers all states of the region, including the present peace processes.

Painting a grim picture on the Naga issue, Sinha said 'the ongoing peace process is already faltering' on the issue of creation of Greater Nagaland or Nagalim.

'The army has been warning that the Naga rebels are using the ceasefire for consolidating their position. In many parts
of Nagaland and Manipur, the insurgents run a parallel government and have levied household taxes', besides even
advertising in newspapers for recruitment in the underground government.

'The government will do well to prepare to cope with such a situation, if the talks fail', the former army officer warned.

Maintaining that narco-terrorism was the greatest threat to security in the region, Sinha said the Northeast has emerged as a major transit route for drug trade and gun-running.

Observing that an indicator of the scale of narco-trade was the high incidence of drug abuse in Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya, he said most of the drug trade was routed through Moreh in Manipur.

'The Naga-Kuki clashes are direct consequence of insurgent groups trying to control the road from Moreh to
Imphal to facilitate the illegal trade. The demand for funds will fuel illegal trade in narcotics in a big way in future',
the former army officer said, adding that no insurgent group could sustain itself without regular flow of funds.

Observing that the Northeast was 'profoundly affected' by the events and trends in the growth of Islamic fundamentalism
in Bangladesh, he said the juxtaposition of illegal Bangladeshi immigration, now consisting mainly of Muslims, and the rising religious militancy has 'frightening consequences for India'.

He said the continuance of infiltration would create social tension and conflict on a much larger scale than experienced before.

Referring to problems faced in fencing the Indo-Bangla border, Sinha said in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura while the
distance between two border posts was 7-9 kms, there were a number of villages located right on the border and some even beyond the fence. This keeps the area wide open for villagers and even infiltrators to pass through.

The book by Brig Sinha also critically examines the government's responses and counter-insurgency strategies --
from finding a military solution to winning the hearts and minds of the people.

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