New Delhi/Chandigarh: Ten hardcore Sikh militants holed up in Pakistan for many years are under pressure from its intelligence agencies to revive Sikh militancy in India, Indian intelligence sources aver.
“Pakistan is so desperate to reactivate the militant leaders that it has told them to either create turmoil in India — or quit Pakistani territory for good,” said a senior security official who spoke only if he was not identified. Security officials say the list of 10 names have been shared with several police forces, including those in Delhi and Punjab, where a bloody decade-long separatist campaign was finally put down by 1993.
“These terrorists are on our radar,” Punjab’s Additional Director General of Police Hardeep Dhillon told IANS on telephone from Chandigarh.
Prominent among those living in Pakistan are Babbar Khalsa International’s Wadhawa Singh and his aides Ratandeep Singh and Mehal Singh. Others include Jagtar Singh Tara of Khalistan Tiger Force, Ranjit Singh Meeta of Khalistan Zindabad Force, Gajinder Singh of Dal Khalsa, Paramjeet Singh Panjawar of Khalistan Commando Force, Lakhweer Singh Rode of International Sikh Youth Federation, Harminder Singh Mintu of Khalistan Liberation Force and Harmeet Singh of Komagata Maru Dal.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has for decades controlled both Sikh and Kashmiri separatists, providing them weapons, training,cash as well as sanctuary, say Indian security agencies.
Once the Khalistan movement was put down, some of the surviving militants escaped to Pakistan.
This has been corroborated by Lashkar-e-Taiba member Abdul Karim Tunda, who is now in Delhi Police custody, intelligence sources told IANS. Tunda has also told Indian interrogators that the Pakistani intelligence has provided shelter to small and big terrorist groups to execute bombings in India.
Delhi’s Special Commissioner of Police S.N. Srivastava told IANS: “Wadhawa Singh, Ratandeep Singh and Mehal Singh are the most wanted Sikh extremists.”
Tunda confessed that he had been assigned by Ratandeep Singh to carry out bomb attacks in India. Tunda also said that the Babbar Khalsa International had demanded explosives before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 — and he sent the consignment.
Intelligence sources say that the Sikh militants in Pakistan are in touch with “extremist minded” pro-Khalistan expatriates based in the West, particularly in Canada. The pro-Khalistan expatriates are known to fund the extremists — also with the mission of reviving militancy in Punjab.
Over the last four years, Punjab Police has busted over a dozen modules of terrorist groups trying to revive terrorism in the state. Some suspects have been arrested and weapons and ammunition sezied from them.
The attempts to revive terrorism has not found many takers in Punjab.
In desperation, terrorist outfits, mainly Babbar Khalsa International and and Khalistan Commando Force, have tried to bring in youths from other states and countries for terror activities in Punjab.
BKI’s Jagtar Singh Hawara, who escaped from a Chandigarh prison in January 2004, tried to revive terrorism but failed. He was later arrested by Delhi Police from Patiala.
When the Khalistan campaign raged for a decade until 1993, over 25,000 people were killed. The last big terrorist strike was the assassination of then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in Chandigarh Aug 31, 1995.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.
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