|N E W S
I N ..D E T A I L
Sunday, November 28, 1999
A special report
That the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate of Pakistan has been pumping in crores of rupees to sustain the proxy war unleashed on India is a well-known fact. But how is the huge fund generated? How does it reach the militants fighting the undeclared war in the Kashmir valley?
According to information collected by The Tribune from various agencies and individuals, the ISI is working in collaboration with the All-Party Hurriyat Conference and its component Jamaat-e-Islami of Jammu and Kashmir, the United Jehad Council and the Markaz al-Dawah al-Irshad for raising funds to keep up militancy in the valley. Even the money received as zakat a kind of religious tax which Islam enjoins upon a certain category of the believers for the welfare of the needy is used to fund this nefarious scheme.
If the ISI has its own funds earmarked for the dirty game, the militant outfits operating from both sides of the border have set up their front organisations for collecting money to pay the mujahideen engaged in jehad. The most dependable from the ISIs point of view network is being run by the Hurriyat. The Jamaat has set up a memorial trust to attract donations mainly from abroad. The Markaz al-Dawah has its headquarters at Lahore and collects huge sums to fight the so-called holy war in Kashmir.
Surprisingly, militants are not the only people to benefit from these funds received mainly as donations. Certain politicians too have had their share. However, donations are not enough to lubricate the proxy war. There are certain other ways also to ensure an uninterrupted supply of money. These include: (1) sale of narcotics on a large scale (the United Nations Drug Control Programme has it that the ISI annually makes around $ 2.5 billion through this source and it must be spending anything between Rs 537.5 crore and Rs 1,075 crore on fuelling militancy every year); (2) printing of fake currency notes by the National Jehad Council at its printing press at Muzaffarabad in occupied Kashmir; (3) collections made in West Asia and European countries for the Jehad Fund; and (4) extortions from traders, contractors and other moneyed people.
Money from foreign sources is received through the hawala route. There is also a system of indirect funding providing arms, ammunition, food and clothing to militants before pushing them on to this side of the India-Pakistan divide. It is ensured that before entering the valley the militants carry with them large amounts of cash (both Indian and Pakistani currency).
In fact, militancy has become a flourishing business. The recruits get either a fixed salary or work on a contract basis. According to The Tribunes information, a local militants monthly salary varies between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 depending on various factors. A foreign mercenary gets between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000. The financial support given to the family of a deceased militant ranges from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 a month. A fresh recruit can secure anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000 as a one-time payment, depending on his capacity to bargain. A guide gets between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000, a porter between Rs 7,500 and Rs 20,000 and a motivator Rs 5,000.
There are other kinds of payments made which show how meticulously the whole operation is carried on. A militant gets Rs 150 for throwing a grenade and Rs 6,000 for winter clothing. For killing an officer of the security forces up to the rank of Major the reward is Rs 7,000, for a Lieut-Colonel Rs 50,000 and for a Brigadier and above earns a much bigger amount.
The militants of foreign origin cost the ISI a little more. When they enter into a two-year contract they are paid Rs 2 lakh to move to Kashmir. When they go back home after the contract period they get another Rs 5 lakh as a final payment.
Now the figures about the year-wise expenditure (these do not include all payments made for the execution of the Kashmir plan of the ISI). For carrying out the operation from July to September, 1999, the Supreme Commander of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen received Rs 1,06,50,000. During 1998 the payments made to militants totalled Rs 6,94,31,733, and the payees mainly belonged to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiyaba.
In 1997, Rs 70,39,473 was distributed and the money went to certain Shia militant outfits in the valley. In 1996, the total amount received for militant activity was Rs 10,50,738. Of this, Rs 5,00,000 reached the Peoples Conference and Hurriyat leaders.
In the post-Kargil period militant organisations are getting special treatment to keep their morale high. The ISI funding is now more liberal. According to one source, the monthly aid to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is at least Rs 1 crore, to the Harkat-ul-Ansar Rs 40 lakh, to the Al-Barq Rs 12 lakh, to the All-Party Hurriyat Conference Rs 2 crore and other groups (minor ones) about Rs 35,000 each.
There is widespread
unemployment and poverty in certain areas of Pakistan,
Afghanistan and some Muslim-dominated West Asian
countries. This helps in recruiting youngsters for the
destructive scheme, specially when the salary
is so tempting. Religion comes handy in brainwashing the
poverty-stricken people to risk their lives for a
cause. This is sheer exploitation of simple
Payments made to militants and their sympathisers.
Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 ($ 1,163 to $ 4,651) to deceased militants families or militancy-affected families.
Rs. 6,000 ($ 140) for winter clothing.
Rs. 150 ($ 3) for grenade throwing.
Amount payable as a reward for killing Army/security forces personnel
Foreign militants get Rs. 2,00,000 ($ 4,651) while coming in and another Rs. 5,00,000 ($ 11,628) on going back after a two-year contract.
The ISI's fund allocations
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