Intelligence Agencies Might Let Off Yasin Malik Lightly

Intelligence Agencies Might Let Off Yasin Malik Lightly

2 March 2013
Times of India
Bharti Jain

New Delhi: As JKLF chief Yasin Malik, who created a flutter last month by sharing the stage with Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) boss Hafiz Saeed in Islamabad, plans to return to India on March 9, the intelligence agencies here have indicated that he may only be quizzed on his controversial activities during the Pakistan visit, and not formally detained or arrested. However, his passport may eventually be blocked for a year or two to send a stern message to all Kashmiri leaders who indulge in anti-India propaganda or hobnob with terror fugitives on foreign soil. Sources in the intelligence establishment said the agencies will engage with Malik, who used his extended stay in Pakistan to openly lobby for support against the 'persecution' of Kashmiris in India by pointing to the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, soon after his arrival here. He is likely to be told to 'voluntarily' furnish information to the agencies on the circumstances of his appearance alongside 26-11 mastermind Saeed, and explain his statements, interviews and meetings in Pakistan lobbying for support of leaders and intelligentsia across the border against Guru's execution. Agencies indicated the action of revocation of his passport - blocking its re-issue for a year or two - will be taken after giving him due opportunity to argue his case. Sources said he had, of late, been sending feelers through his friends here that he was caught off-guard by Saeed's appearance at the rally he believed would largely be attended by mediapersons and students. His defence, however, has not cut much ice with the authorities here with senior officials indicating that the LeT chief's elaborate security detail leaves little scope for his 'sudden' appearance at crowded events. Senior intelligence officials indicated that Malik may not be prevented from travelling to Kashmir after his 'quizzing' by the agencies here. However, he will be told to maintain a low profile and not make statements that could inflame passions in Kashmir over Guru's execution. 'We expect Malik to heed our advice,' a senior official told TOI. The agencies are not in favour of his detention or arrest as it would only help him play the victim and aggravate tensions in J&K. Though blocking his passport would prevent him from going to Pakistan to visit his family there, his wife and child will be allowed to visit him here. Malik was on Friday quoted by agency reports as saying that he would be arriving here on March 9. 'I will be flying back to Delhi from Lahore on the regular PIA flight on March 9,' Malik said adding that he was not worried over the likely confiscation of his passport or his impending arrest here.