November 1998 News

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Proposed White Paper Lays Bare Pakistan's Designs

2nd November 1998
Times of India

NEW DELHI: Pakistan's ISI-sponsored terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir received a tremendous boost with the deployment of US-trained militants after the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, says the proposed draft of a white paper on ISI operations which is to be presented in the winter session of Parliament.

Union home minister L K Advani confirmed at a news conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday that the government's decision to table the white paper was in response to the demand by leaders of various parties at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee recently.

The draft underlines how Pakistan strategists were of the opinion that after Gen Zia took over in 1977, the religious "fault line" could be effectively exploited, particularly in Kashmir. The strategy included sowing seeds of disaffection among the people of the Valley against India.

A copy of the proposed draft obtained by this newspaper lays bare Pakistan's designs for activating human rights lobbyists, foreign parliamentarians and academicians to promote the secessionist cause. The ISI wanted to float and sustain an "over-ground conglomerate", inclusive of political parties, subservient to Pakistan. This "conglomerate" was meant to project itself as a "third party" to the dispute representing "wishes and aspirations" of the Kashmiri people.

To sustain the Kashmir movement at minimal cost, and force a settlement on its own terms, Pakistan wanted to cause disaffection and alienation among Kashmiris using the religious card, non-performance of the elected government and the alleged atrocities of security forces.

The draft adds that Pakistan wanted to pursue the "Qurban Ali Doctrine" or inevitable Balkanisation of India by sending intensively trained and motivated Pakistani agents to carry out acts of sabotage.

To prevent India from emerging as a strategically dominant power in the region, Pakistan's aim was to embarrass it by internationalising the Kashmir issue - projecting India as a violator of UN resolutions and accusing it of dismal human rights record, says the draft paper.

According to this document, Pakistan wants to emphasise commonality of strategic interests between powers like China and the US, so that they support Pakistan and underplay its role in promoting international terrorism, drug trafficking and acquisition of strategic weapon capabilities through clandestine means.

Pakistan was compelled to follow this policy - emphasises the white paper - because of its defeat in three wars, inability to match Indian military might and because it could ill-afford dangers and cost of a conventional war. Islamabad had also continued to perpetuate the idea of Kashmir as "unfinished agenda of partition" because of its internal need to placate India-baiters. The draft says that the factors, which led to the growth of Pakistan's covert action programme include operational links established by the ISI with drug syndicates in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Terrorism was further stoked due to the links developed by the ISI with fundamentalist Islamic groups the world over, from where recruits and material help was drawn for the Afghan war.

Pakistan's gameplan, says the draft, was to bring hitherto unaffected areas, particularly those in the Jammu region, into the vortex of militancy. The aim was to use terrorist threats to seek acquiescence of moderate political leaders, government functionaries, religious leaders, social activists and academicians. Further, the ISI wanted to use infiltrators from Bangladesh to destabilise the North-East. It also provided sanctuary to Punjab terrorists in Pakistan to revive militancy there.

In pursuance of its objectives, the ISI wanted to spread tentacles of terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab, Assam and Nagaland by carrying out subversive propaganda on fundamentalist and communal lines. It planned to set up its intelligence networks in important cities like Jodhpur, Kota, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Bhuj, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Jammu and Udhampur by patronising border smugglers and criminals.

To sustain its objectives, Pakistan used television, radio, special broadcasting stations like Sada-e-Hurriat, the press and influential sections of international media.


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