Friday, December 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India





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Pakistani plot to revive terrorism in Punjab
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 19
Cocking a snook at India and the international community, Pakistan has stepped up its activities aimed at reviving terrorism in Punjab to widen the arc of its proxy war to balkanise India.

According to sources, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf held a meeting of top ISI officials, including ISI chief Ehsan ul-Haq, last month and directed them to revive militancy in Punjab.

The move is in consonance with the signals emanating from there on other fronts like release of Jaish-e-Mohammad founder chief Masood Azhar from a Pakistani jail and deportation of notorious criminal Anees Ibrahim by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Pakistan fit in a series of this pattern.

The interest of the USA, has also waned in the Indian subcontinent as the Bush administrationís focus has shifted to Iraq. This has further emboldened Islamabad.

According to information ISI officials held a meeting with pro-Khalistani leaders on November 20, 2002 and told them to send volunteers to Pakistan for training .

Sikhs visiting Pakistan on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 19, and prominent Sikh separatist leaders from different parts of the world met at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan and were encouraged to openly talk of the revival of the Khalistan movement to visiting yatris.

General Musharraf met the overseas pro-Khalistani militants like Gurmeet Singh Aulakh on this issue, the sources said.

The ISI chief was present at a meeting last month which was attended by Sikh separatist leaders like Ganga Singh Dhillon of the Nankana Sahib Foundation, Manmohan Singh Bajaj of the World Muslim-Sikh Forum, Amrit Singh Toor (ISYF), and Avtar Singh Sanghera of the Babbar Khalsa International.

Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool (retd), Governor of Punjab, assured them that Pakistan would provide material and financial help to Sikhs to realise their dream. They were advised to regularly interact with other Indian insurgent groups operating from abroad to chalk out a common strategy.

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