New Delhi: Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has very recently proposed to double the financial support to terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has warned in a “˜top secret” report.
A RAW report sent to the Prime Minister and other authorities stated that in a briefing given to President Pervez Musharraf, the ISI stated that the jihadi groups had lost resoluteness resulting in weakening of the so called `freedom movement’ and financial constraints was one of the major factors.
The agency stated that the Indian security forces had wrested the initiative and seemed to have got control over the situation. India’s external intelligence wing’s warning against Pakistan army intentions to intensify jihadi operations in Jammu and Kashmir has come at a time as the counter-terrorism talks between India and Pakistan are to resume later this month.
The jihadi groups, the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, had to take defensive measures such as infiltration in small groups. The ISI has also preferred third country launchings via Bangladesh and Nepal in view of the difficulties in LoC infiltration, according to sources in the PMO.
The RAW report also indicated increased activity of the jihadi groups in Pakistan. Banned groups such as Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM), Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) and Al Badr had established new offices in Karachi. It mentioned that HuM had moved its base from Islamabad to Rawalpindi.
In its briefing to President Musharraf, the ISI has stated that it will ensure that no pro-Pakistan organisation or individual from any organisation would participate in the forthcoming state elections and the jihadi groups were told to work out a plan to disrupt the polls.
The RAW report said that the Pakistani agencies had taken advantage of the recent political uncertainties in their country to push the jihadi elements to intensify terrorist activity and to disrupt the elections.
Significantly, the Chief of Pakistan Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, had visited the LoC, soon after he took over the mantle of army chief from President Musharraf. His promise of continued support to jihadi groups during that visit is part of that agenda. The recent border violations in Samba sector and other areas are only `testing’ salvos.
Both the PPP leader Asif Zardari and PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif expressed their desire to improve relations with India, but the Pakistan Army and the ISI can still play a spoiler, as was witnessed in the Kargil operation by the then Pakistan army chief Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
As the new political dispensation in Pakistan is positively disposed toward better relations with India and improved economic cooperation, the next Indo-Pak anti-terrorism talks offer an opportunity to the Indian government to convey them the designs of their agencies and the need to rein them in.