ISI threat of terrorism to India
An internal document of the government of India has painted a worrying security scenario with no letup in threats to India expected till at least 2025. It warns not only against ISI’s plans to keep terrorism in Kashmir alive and stoke fundamentalism but also against the increasing belligerence of left-wing extremists.
Despite recent efforts at peace, there is no change in ISI’s objectives, which include the liberation of Kashmir; revival of militancy in Punjab; use of the Bihar-Nepal border for smuggling arms, explosives and fake currency; cooperation with ULFA; control of insurgent networks from Bangladesh and using certain madrassas in Border States like West Bengal.
The overview of internal security challenges in perspective plan of training in CRPF provides a hard-headed analysis of the emerging challenges to the security establishment. Though many of the threats are not new, the document makes the point that these are increasingly interlinked and need an equally determined, well-thought-out response.
It argues that big changes in demographics in terms of an illegal influx from Bangladesh cannot be ignored. This population often shelters anti-India elements and provides a steady recruitment to jihadi modules. This immigrant population, it says, can influence up to 20 assembly seats in Delhi, while six districts in Assam are also similarly affected.
Setting up of terror cells in south India, and liaising with the underworld in Maharashtra and Gujarat are other aspects dealt with in some detail.
The document speaks of the continuing influence of two major covert operations – Operation Topac and Operation Pin Code – launched by ISI to destabilize India which the Pakistani establishment still holds valid.
Though these operations are known to intelligence experts, official training manuals have seldom mentioned them in terms of the evolving internal security threats. It is clear that the Indian security establishment has not seen any change in the directives issued to ISI.
The George C Francis Committee report, which the document draws upon, is part of the materials for specialized training to paramilitary forces deployed for counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir, the northeast and other parts of the country.
Talking about demographic invasion, the 68-page report in its second chapter – Contemporary Appraisal of Internal Security Scenario – says that the concentration of Bangladeshi illegal migrants starting from the 24 Parganas district in West Bengal to Barpeta in Assam is more than 50% of the local population which could influence as many as 25 Lok Sabha seats in the region.
The committee has taken into account information gathered by India’s intelligence agencies after neutralization of ISI cells in the country during 2001-06. About ISI’s activities beyond J&K, the report says that the ISI has been funding the construction of madrassas in the Terai region of UP from where it recruits people.
The menace of money laundering, tax evasion, existence of rogue off-shore banking facilities on behalf of small countries, circulation of fake Indian currency at the behest of ISI, and the role of underworld-ISI nexus in Maharashtra and Gujarat are some of the main points which have found adequate space in the report.
Being specific about money laundering-terrorist linkages and the modus operandi, the report says: “The intricate route of financing terrorism in Kashmir is highlighted by the fact that the money from ISI, NGOs and charity organizations in Pakistan is transferred to carpet dealers of Kashmir in Dubai who, in turn, transfer it to hawala operators in Delhi – from where it is sent to Srinagar.”
The report also refers to the current situation in the country in terms of polarization of Hindus and Muslims and says that it does not augur well for the security climate of the country.