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Pakistan financially supporting terrorist groups in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh
Pakistan has unabatedly been financing terrorist groups in India as well as in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Some media reports suggested that Pakistan has been pumping about Rs.100 crore annually alone in Jammu and Kashmir to keep the militancy alive as well as to create disturbances in the valley.

Finance is foremost prerequisite component of terror, others are militants and arms. Terror finance is considered to be most important amongst other two said components. Finance helps in motivating, recruiting, training, and launching of sick minds as trained militants. Terror finance also keeps the flow of arms supply uninterrupted to the militants.

Since Pakistan has been an epic centre of militancy from early 1980 onwards, terror finance has played a significant and distinctive role in keeping the Pakistan sponsored militancy alive and agile in the Indian sub-continent as well as in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In Pakistan main sources of terror finance are Pakistan army and the ISI, donations from Gulf, Money laundering (Hawala), Narco-finance, illegal economic activities, abductions for ransom, collections through Islamic charitable Organizations in the form of 'Zakat' (compulsory annual contribution) and 'Sadkaats'(charities).

General Mohd Zia-ul-Haq, who was Chief Martial Law and Administrator (CMLA) and then President of Pakistan (5 July 1977 - 17 August 1988) was 'god father' of terror in the Indian sub-continent. He intelligently exploited a decade long erstwhile Soviet Union-Afghan war (1979-89) in Pakistan's favor by eliciting arms from USA and petro-dollars from Saudi Arabia, who were the main players of the Afghan war respectively.

After the end of the Afghan war, General Zia turned the Afghan Mujahedeen from guerrillas to militants and terrorists against India, primarily in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to "bleed" India. While situation in Punjab could be brought under control and India successfully neutralized ISI supported and financed 'Khalistan movement', Pakistan is stillbrazenly engaged in meddling in the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir through ISI supported and financed militants, belonging to both sides of Kashmir.

Pakistan's Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar had accepted (June 19, 2016) in Pakistan National Assembly that ISI has been using 'Secret Service Funds' (SSF), apparently for terror finance. Pakistan's Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) and ISI are main financiers and god fathers of terrorist outfits nurtured and supported by them for carrying out the Pakistan Army's hostile activities not only in India and Afghanistan but also in Pakistan. During General Zia's regime ISI had patronized and financed anti-Shia militant outfits even against the country's own Shia community.

ISI has also indulged in providing monetary assistance to anti-Afghan Taliban and Haqqani groups and anti-Indian Kashmiri militant outfits and radicals inside Pakistan, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Kashmir Valley, respectively. Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of Afghan spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), had disclosed (July 15, 2016, Kabul) some classified documents which confirmed that money being provided by the USA to Pakistan to fight terrorism was being spent by ISI for promoting and supporting terrorism.

Earlier in February 2016, DavidColeman Headley, a Pakistani-American terrorist and an accused in 26/11 Mumbai blasts had confessed that before visiting Mumbai in September 2006 he was given $25,000 by one Major Iqbal of ISI, who also gave David Headley counterfeit Indian currency twice in 2008. Later, one Major Pasha of ISI had also given David Headley Rs.80,000.

ISI was also found using Hawala channel to provide funds to Kashmiri separatists and pro-Pakistani Hurriyat leaders. In 2002, security agencies had raided the house of Hurriyat leader Syeed Ali Shah Gillani in Srinagar and seized unaccounted cash as well as classified documents. In August 2011, Geelani was again charge sheeted along with four others for receiving money.

Also, the Enforcement Directorate had issued (August 23, 2015) summons to Shabir Shah, President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) in connection with a decade old case against him for receiving Rs.2.25 crore through Hawala. Meanwhile, India's National Investigating Agency (NIA) had disclosed that between 2008-11, an amount of Rs.4,57,40,000 was transferred to Kashmir Valley from Pakistan thorough Hawala route.

ISI is providing financial assistance even to Bangladeshi terrorist groups and radicals through various means, including through its diplomats stationed in Dhaka. In March 2015, Bangladesh had forced Pakistan to withdraw an ISI operative viz; Modh Mazhar Khan an Attache in Pakistani High Commission, Dhaka for bringing in forged currencies into Bangladesh and providing finances to Bangladeshi radical groups like Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh, Hizb ut-Tahir, and Ansarullah Bangla Team.

Subsequently, in December 2015, a lady Pakistani diplomat Fareena Arshad, Second Secretary (Political) also was expelled by Bangladesh on the charges of funding Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Significantly, ISI accelerates itsactivities of funding terrorists in Bangladesh when ever pro-Indian government led by Sheikh Hassina is in power.

During Sheikh Hassina's first term in 2000, a senior Pakistani diplomat was also withdrawn by Pakistan on the insistence of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Hossain Toufique Imam, the Political Advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had disclosed that ISI has links with Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JM), which had killed 20 people (July3, 2016) in a Dhaka restaurant.

In addition to ISI's involvement in terror finance, even some provinces of Pakistan like Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also found indulged in extending financial assistance to terror institutions. While Grand Master of terrorism Hafeez Saeed is universally known to be a stooge of ISI and the infamous Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) under his leadership is involved in terrorist and disruptive activities in Kashmir Valley, the Punjab (Pakisan) government is extending financial assistance to JuD. In 2013-14, Punjab (Pakistan) had allocated Pak Rs.61 million to JuD-run 'Markez-e-Taiba' and Pak Rs.650 million to set up a knowledge park by JuD in Punjab (Pakistan).

Likewise, the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had allocated (June 2016) Pak Rs.300 million for the construction and rehabilitation of the controversial seminary, Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora, Khattak, Nowshera district, which is being run by radical Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami.

Some students of Darul Uloom Haqqania were accused of being involved in the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. However, Imran Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa justified allocating government's huge funds to such seminary of radicals saying that it would help the Islamic students in joining the mainstream.

Pakistani terrorist groups, such as Al-Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) have been receiving financial support from some Gulf countries, primarily from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Such Pakistani terrorist groups are receiving funds from charitable organizations and by running front-companies in these Gulf states. LeT, responsible for Mumbai attacks in 2008, used a Saudi Arabia based front company in 2005 to get funds from the Kingdom for its terrorist activities.

According to American intelligence agencies estimates, LeT operates on an annual budget of $ 5.25 million. Likewise, JuD leaders including Hafeez Saeed frequently travels to Gulf countries, particularly to Saudi Arabia for fund collections and was engaged in siphoning off money, meant for militant operations.

In addition, during Haj days in Saudi Arabia, activists of LeT and JuD collect funds from Hajis and also set up front companies to launder funds and money received from Saudi government-sanctioned charities. Meanwhile, some Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia, also provide funds on regular basis to Madrasas (seminaries) being run by pro-terrorist groups and radicals in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab province of Pakistan.

In addition to it, Pakistani radical and terrorist groups also collects funds in Pakistan during the month of Ramazan and Eid festivals on the plea of supporting so-called Kashmiri cause in Jammu and Kashmir, under the nose of Pakistani security agencies and local police.

ISI is also involved in funding terrorists activities through Narco-finance. ISI's involvement in drug trafficking was initially encouraged by General Zia to finance terror activities in India, particularly in Punjab during Khalistan movement and in Kashmir valley too. Pakistan's narco-terrorism had hit Punjab very badly.

'The Washington Post' had quoted (September 12, 1994) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that in November 1990 he was approached by the then Army chief General Aslam Beg and ISI chief General Asad Durrani, to seek his permission for raising funds through drug deals for covert foreign operations, to which Nawaz Sharif claimed that he did not agree.

But the reality is that ISI has been using drug money for supporting terror activities. Some reports suggested that ISI was taking help of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees Ibrahim Kaskar in this regard.

ISI was also noticed using money generated from the drug trafficking to fund terror activities in India in league with Maoists and insurgent groups of North-East, and used Indo-Nepal border for drug trafficking.

Terror financing by ISI is a fundamental of Pakistan Army's proxy war against India and troubled relations with Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan Army through terror finance would continue to support terrorists in Kashmir Valley and North East of India and destabilize democratic governments in Bangladesh as well to meddle in Afghanistan's affairs with the aim of countering India's goodwill and influence in Afghanistan.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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