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Kashmir Underground - Book on ISI activites in Kashmir

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    Kashmir Underground - Book on ISI activites in Kashmir

    Pakistanís Inter-Services Intelli gence (ISI) has successfully ar
    ranged more sophisticated and latest weaponry for imported mercenaries in Jammu and Kashmir. Right from 1992 when the mercenaries were inducted into Kashmir, the ISI kept changing its techniques of motivating the mercenaries. First it was the Islamic card. Then there is the thrill of handling a gun and killing a kafir (infidel).

    These and other details of the modus ope***** of Pakistan-sponsored
    mercenaries are contained in Mr Sati Sahniís book titled ĎKashmir Undergroundí. The ISI is reported to be spending Rs 5 crores a month only on maintenance of foreign militants though the annual budget for the ISIís Kashmir operation is around Rs 300 crores.

    According to the book, while the foreign militants were given special training on orientation for operations in Kashmir by ISI at the training camps in Pakistan, the training included learning rudimentary Kashmiri language and being familiarised with topography of the area
    of infiltation so that they were able to operate without many problems or without raising suspicions. In January 1994, at many of the 90-odd training camps being run in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistan, the small batches of foreign militants were specially trained. These camps were manned by Afghan Mujahideen, veterans of Afghan war.

    Again, in 1994, the ISI, the book stated, decided to raise special groups for different districts of Kashmir. This was done to train them specially for operation in specific districts. They were familiarised with its topography and important aspects of lives of people living
    there. One of their aims was to spread terror. Some of them turned
    barbaric. Ome Afghans and Sudanese among them broke off their victims
    and then slit their throats till they bled to death. They also
    indulged in beheading some of their victims.

    The book has highlighted yet another horror-filled tactics of foreign militants in Kashmir: Rape of women was almost a regular practice with

    "What else is new", or should I say, "Tell me something that I don't

    most of them. Many were subsequently killed because the militants did not want to leave any trace of their crime. According to the book, an Afghan mercenary in custody told Director-General of Border Security Force (BSF) in February 1994 that he had raped 82 Kashmiri women since his arrival from Pakistan.

    Mr Sati Sahniís equally interesting finding: Money is used to lure youth to join jehad and this is a big attraction for unemployed youth.

    In training camps they are put through branwash sessions. They are
    told of opportunities in Kashmir of extortion of money, forced marriages, local hospitality and entertainment by Kashmiri girls. Some of the arrested foreign militants have confessed that they had gone to Pakistan for seeking employment and were lured with attractive
    promises by ISI agents to "doing duty for Islam by joining jehad in Kashmir".

    Some of them turned out to be paid serial killers with no personal or emotional involvement with jehad.

    The book says that while the foreign militant is sent to Kashmir on contract for two years, he is paid Rs 2 lakhs on deputation, and on return after successful sojourn he is paid another Rs 2 lakhs. Against this, an Indian security person, the book has calculated, is paid less than Rs 8,000 per month. A Kashmiri militant is paid Rs 1500 to Rs 2,000 per month. A foreign militant who motivates a Kashmiri youth for
    training in Pakistan gets Rs 5,000 for each recruit who is promised Rs
    15,000 as an initial payment. Unemployment and poverty are fully exploited.

    In the first two or three years of open insurgency in Kashmir, Mr Sati Sahni has recorded, there was no evidence of any marked presence of foreigners except as a few fraternal Pakistanis and Afghans assisting and guiding the local outfits. "It is now clear", Mr Sahni says, "that ISI of Pakistan had changed its strategy a number of times during this period when the tempo of the Kashmiri secessionist movement was
    rising". After the ground had been prepared in the Valley in the second half of the í80s, ISI decided to give full and unequivocal support to the JKLF but soon realised that it was neither sound policy nor would suit Pakistanís long term objective.

    The ISI started promoting parallel groups. Some of them were dissatisfied elements of the JKLF and others were from the larger number of Kashmiri youths who had crossed over from the Valley in the first few months of 1990 with the first flush of success. The book says that for a few months ISI watched this experiment carefully and evaluated it rather closely. The Kashmiri militant leadership did not measure up to ISI standards like the Afghan mujahideen had done earlier. According to them the Kashmiris were not able to stand up to
    the Indian security forces and needed backup and direction in action.

    Subsequently, the ISI decided to kill two birds with one stone. The book says that ISI devised a plan under which large number of Afghan refugees were to be located in semi-permanent settlements in sparsely populated areas of PoK. A few thousand selected out of them were to be sent across the LoC, into Kashmir to virtually take charge of the different outfits. These were the one who, according to the book, had been trained in the Markaz-e- Dawaar Al Irshaad. Its headquarters is near Lahore and controls and directs three main training centres, one each in Pakistan, PoK and Afghanistan.

    The ISI, the book pointed out, had been studying and assessing the end results of the actions and exploits of the Kashmiri militants
    operating under different outfits. They seemed to be "thoroughly dissatisfied" with the casualties they were able to inflict. The number of personnel of Indian security forces killed or injured seriously was not commensurate with ISIís "investment" in number of trained militants
    who had been provided with unlimited supply of latest and sophisticated arms.

    The ISI felt that in contrast the casualties suffered by militants
    were proportionately higher than should be. The ISI, the book divulged,
    then decided that militants should be inducted from outside Ė they would be inbred with a sense of purpose, steeped in spirit of jehad, bolder and not afraid either to kill or be killed. They were highly motivated
    fanatics bred on verses of Koran and fired by the concept of Ummah Ė
    an Islamic world that does not recognise borders and frontiers.

    The book has also divulged: Another reason for Pakistan to push more
    foreigners was distrust of Kashmiri militants. Some sections had
    started showing fatigue, some had started surrendering and others were
    lapsing into inactivity. Pakistan wanted better control over the
    activities of Kashmiri militants and hence needed to induct foreign
    militants. By sending them across to Kashmir, Pakistan loses nothing except some money. Some of the mercenaries had much knowledge about the political motivations of Pakistan and its designs.