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Visual on ISI activities alarm MPs - The Pioneer

Posted By Ashok Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
October 16, 1998

Title: Visual on ISI activities alarm MPs
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: October 16, 1998

A powerful fact-laden, visual presentation by the Home Ministry on the
growing influence of Pakistan's ISI struck a chord of concern across
party-lines at the meeting of the home consultative committee on

All MPs present endorsed Union home minister LK Advani's plan to present
a white paper on the subject of ISI activities in India.

Mr Advani shared the sentiments of the committee and declared that the
Government would come out with a white paper in Parliament, detailing
subversive activities indulged in by the ISI. After the presentation, Mr
Advani re-iterated the Government's resolve to defeat the ISI designs.

The graphic presentation on a small screen virtually took members of the
consultative committee on Home Affairs by surprise as this was the first
time that the Ministry was sharing such sensitive information with MPs.

All MPs maintained that all these facts be shared with people. The
startling revelation about the ISI's growing tentacles in the country
made MPs ranging from BJP's Arun Shourie to CPM's Somnath Chatterjee
"sit up" all through the 40-minute presentation.

Narrating the economic cost suffered by the country due to the proxy-war
being carried out by Pakistan, the home ministry's presentation
indicated that the government had spent at least Rs 18,500 crores to
iniitiate counter-insurgency measures like setting up picket, fencing
the border and raising counter-insurgency force in local areas.

But the major expenditure incurred by the Government is on the
deployment of security forces in the troubled zones. A rough estimate
puts the figure around 46000 crores as spent on deployment of security

Similarly, another startling fact on supply of deadly automatic assault
weapons revealed that the ISI had smuggled into the country 61,900
automatic weapons of which security forces have seized around 51,810
weapons in all these years.

In what appears to be a specific detail on infiltration of trained
insurgents of Pakistan, the consultative committee members were informed
that at least 7000 trained Pakistani agents were working in India. On
the other hand, the figure of those having been trained in Pakistan or
Afghanistan and sneaked back into India is around 20 thousand.

Referring to the covert operation carried out by Pakistan, the Home
Ministry gave its assessment that Pakistan got emboldened by the success
of its action in Afghanistan against a global power- former USSR- in
which is played the "front-line" role.

Another assessment of the ministry is that the ISI began experimentation
in India after there was a phenemenol growth of its clout following its
success in Afghanistan.

Elaborating on the strategies adopted by the ISI to carry out its
activity in Pakistan, the presentation pointed out that the ISI
considered of exploiting "religious fault line" to pursue its goal. In
the ministry's assessment, given diverse cutlural, religious and
linguistic identities, the ISI made an attempt to exploit this
contradictions to its favour.

Referring to "Qurban Ali doctrine of Balkanisation of India", the home
ministry's presentation made it clear that the ISI was desperate in its
gameplan in India in order to justify Pakistan's own existence on
religious lines.

Antoher strategy adopted by Pakistan is to push countefiet currency
notes into the country, create funds for subversive activities and
damage economy. While this strategy is low-cost, it proved to be
effective in fomenting trouble.

Signficantly, the presentation pointed out that the whole strategy was
aimed at engaging the Indian army in internal duties in order to "impair
their aggressive capabilities".

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