12 Sep 2017/Tuesday

In a sensational disclosure, a national television broadcasted details obtained from National Investigation Agency (NIA) which found that Jammu and Kashmir legislator from Lyngate, Engineer Rashid had received funds from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as part of funding of terrorists and separatists in the Kashmir Valley.

As per NIA, Engineer Rashid used to receive funds channelled through influential businessman Zahoor Watali from two serving Pakistani Brigadiers. Zahoor Watali, who used shell companies in Dubai to bring money into Jammu and Kashmir is also known for hawala transactions and had been on radar of NIA for quite some time. The money was routed into Rakbank, UAE using shell companies. Engineer Rashid is founder and ‘patron’ of the Jammu and Kashmir Awami Ittehad Party, was used by the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI to push ahead with its agenda in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

This is not the first case when the Kashmiri Polity had been under scanner and also investigation for quite a number of years. recently a Television channel have aired an expose showing how Pakistan’s ISI has routed Rs 70 lakh or more to stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir+ through Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah. This was revealed after confessions from two recently captured ISI agents in India, that they regularly got money from Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s envoy to India. Taken together, the two startling disclosures only strengthen New Delhi’s long-held assertion that Pakistan, through both state and so-called non-state actors, funds terror in India, especially in Kashmir.

Kashmir was on the boil since the July 2016+ when security forces killed terrorist Burhan Wani.  As the numbers of stone-pelters have rose dramatically, security forces had tough time controlling them.

While there has always been speculation that Pakistan is involved in paying off these protestors to come out and throw stones at security forces, of late NIA has prepared detailed documentation that show detailed routing of money, from the players at both ends – that is, the funders and the primary recipients – and of whose hands much of the money ends up in ultimately.

The ISI’s cash register documents seized show that the two ends of the money trail are Rawalpindi, which is ISI’s headquarters, and Srinagar, where the Hurriyat is based. From Srinagar, the money makes its way to people in places like Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara. These are all areas that have regularly reported often intense stone pelting.

Secret intel documents that Times Now has accessed say the payment was made to fund those involved in anti-India activities through a known ISI conduit named Mehboob Ahmed Sagar. He also has a well-established connection with Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit.

 Mehboob Ahmed Sagar was paid by ISI on a monthly basis and he, in turn, funnelled the cash to Shabir Shah, founder and president of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party. Shah claimed he was paying families of terrorists.

In Rawalpindi, an ISI man named Ahmed Sagar is regularly in touch with Hurriyat leaders, especially Shabir Shah, Times Now’s story reveals. Shah then disburses the money to various district offices of the Hurriyat who then hire young people to participate in pelting stones. Incidentally, Sagar is known to be close Pakistan’s envoy in India, Basit. ISI, incidentally uses the Hurriyat to fund separatists and terror acts in troubled Kashmir. Shah has been under the scanner for this too, before.

Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that the Prime Minister’s Office has taken cognisance of these findings and will shortly be taking action to shut the tap on Pak terror funding via Hurriyat. It may be noted that this proves beyond fact that Hurriyat and many in the political life are on p[ayroll of ISI however, due to lack of concrete evidence no actions have been taken.