ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s main spy agency gave military training to Kashmiri rebels battling security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir, a separatist leader has revealed for the first time.
While India has long accused Pakistan of training and arming the rebels, a charge Islamabad denies, this is the first confirmation by a separatist leader in the troubled Himalayan region. It comes at a time of unprecedented peace steps by the two nuclear-armed powers.
The Kashmir dispute has been at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan, and tens of thousands of people have been killed in the rebellion against Indian rule in its part of the Muslim-majority region.
The revelation of help for the rebels from Pakistan’s Inter-Service
Intelligence (ISI) agency comes in a new book by Amanullah Khan, chief of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
“We had a gentleman’s agreement, an oral sort of agreement. I was given the idea that the ISI was all for the independence of Kashmir,” Khan told Reuters on Friday, referring to the beginning of ISI help for his group.
He said he was given the impression that Pakistan’s then military ruler, General Zia-ul-Haq, also supported the notion of independence for Kashmir…