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ISI trying to revive terrorism in Punjab: Report
December 22, 2002 21:15 IST
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence has again started toying with the idea of reviving terrorism in Punjab with senior officials, including President Pervez Musharraf, having reportedly met pro-Khalistan leaders during the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak.
According to a report of the Union home ministry, the president of the US-based Nankana Sahib Foundation, G S Dhillon, who was in Pakistan recently, had been asked by ISI officials to revive the Khalistani movement.
Official sources said that Sikhs, mainly expatriates settled overseas, visiting Pakistan were being subjected to pernicious propaganda campaign to convert them into supporters of the Khalistan movement.
The Governor of Punjab [in Pakistan], Khalid Maqbool, had assured them that Pakistan would provide all material and financial help to Sikhs to realise their dream of Khalistan, they said.
The ISI top brass also advised them to interact with other insurgent groups in India operating from abroad and chalk out a common strategy, they added.
The sources said that Musharraf had also met the Khalistan leaders, including G S Aulakh of the Khalistan Council, Dhillon, M S Bajaj of the World Muslim-Sikh Forum and A S Toor of the International Sikh Youth Federation.
The director general of the ISI was also present during the meeting of Musharraf with Khalistan leaders.
In what could be more disturbing, the ISI has been training poor Muslim youths from Sindh province in Sikh tenets at the army cantonment at Nowshera in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the report said.
It also said that the ISI, in collaboration with the Babbar Khalsa International, has trained 25 Muslims in handling arms and explosives with the aim of carrying out terrorist actions in Punjab.
Some reports indicate that the ISI has established some training camps for Sikhs in a Gulf country and a Far Eastern country, the sources said.
The sources said that a meeting of ISI officials and Sikh militants of the Khalistan Zindabad Force was also held in a neighbouring country recently.
They said a few terrorist attacks by motivated Sikh terrorists with the help of the infrastructure of the Kashmiri outfits or drug smugglers could not be ruled out.
The Pakistan-based chief of the Babbar Khalsa International, Wadhava Singh, and ISYF chief Lakhbir Singh Rode are said to be among the top Punjab militants who, in league with the ISI, have been assigned the task of carrying out militant activities.
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