M A I N   N E W S

A Tribune Exclusive
Pak bid to disrupt polls
Swati Chaturvedi

New Delhi, March 26
As many as five conversations between militants belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and their handlers in Pakistan, intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies, indicate a serious bid by the ISI to disrupt the general election and target Indian leaders during campaigning.

Intercepts of LeT’s chatter made available to The Tribune clearly indicate the looming threat. One of the handlers is heard telling a militant, “ Janaab, public meeting se achcha koi mauka nahin hoga. Aap wahan jaa kei kaam kariye. Saara make-up aapko diya jayega ( There will not be a better opportunity than at public meetings. Go and carry out the work there. All equipment and explosives required will be supplied to you).

The Union Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram, who has already been briefed by intelligence agencies, has also deputed the DIB, Mr P C Haldar to brief the Election Commission.

“ It is now obvious that Pakistan will go to any extent to ensure that our elections will be disrupted. It will be naïve to expect anything else.”

Contrary to Pakistan’s oft-repeated claims of curbing terror outfits and, more specifically, pulling the plug on LeT, the intercepts indicate they are actually alive and kicking. LeT, sources said, is clearly quite potent and plotting to create havoc in India.

ISI’s strategic financing of LeT is said to have increased by over 50% during the last two months, apparently to unleash violence and mayhem in India during the run-up to the election.

LeT has also been given a hit-list of high-profile Indian leaders such as Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and BJP leaders like L K Advani and Narendra Modi. Two of the intercepts specifically refer to these leaders.

“We have shared the intercepts with the FBI and apart from taking our own precautions, we hope Americans drive some words of wisdom to Pakistan,” said the sources.



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