by Jagdish R Sharma

There was a time, when anti-India terrorists would find a safe haven in Pakistan. Now with the spree of mysterious killings of anti-India terrorists, the ISI and Pakistan establishment has been shocked and bewildered. Scores of anti-India subversive elements associated with terrorist organisations have been decimated in Pakistan itself, much to the delight of the Indian establishment. Why India shouldn’t be amused when its enemies are getting killed?

Those killed also include fugitives, who were most wanted in India, due to their involvement in heinous crimes and were enjoying their stay and hospitality in Pakistan. Some of them were busy brainwashing and giving training to the gullible youths to create trouble in India in general and particularly in Jammu and Kashmir Union territory. This has sent a wave of terror to those who used to create terror for others in India. The level of fear among them can be gauged by the fact that ISI has upgraded the security of top leaders of terrorist organisations and kept them at undisclosed locations.

We have not forgotten , Pak sponsored terrorist attack on the parliament while it was in session in 2001, the Mumbai attack also referred to as the 26/11 attack, was orchestrated by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. One Pak national Ajmal Kasab was caught alive, and brought to justice by Indian courts. Pakistan refused to accept him as its citizen, whereas international media reached his home and interviewed people known to him. In this attack, at least 174 people, including 20 security force personnel and 26 foreign nationals, were killed. More than 300 people were injured. In this attack, the Jewish population was also targeted. Nine of the 10 terrorists were killed, and one Kasab was arrested. Uri attack in Kashmir on a military camp in 2016 and the Pulwama suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in 2019 were retaliated by surgical strikes and air strikes by the Indian army and Indian air force respectively. There were innumerable terror activities in India, which had their origin in Pakistan.

In 1988, the then-President of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq officially ordered “Operation Topac” the codename of an ongoing military-intelligence contingency program that has been active since the 1980s and run by ISI of Pakistan. It has a three-part action plan to provide covert support to anti-India separatists and terrorists in J&K and other parts of India.

The program is thought to be actively ongoing as the ISI has maintained its support for Kashmiri separatists, radical elements and other ideological militants in their fight against Indian Jammu and Kashmir. The impact of this operation was widely visible on the ground in 1990 when the Kashmiri Pandits exodus took place

While all Kashmiri separatist groups received funding and support, organizations that espoused an explicit pro-Pakistan stance in the Kashmir conflict were more heavily favoured by the Pakistani state. Under this program, the ISI helped create six separatist militant groups in Kashmir, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which notoriously perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India. American intelligence officials have speculated that the ISI has continued to provide protection, support and intelligence to Lashkar-e-Taiba, among other militant groups in the region.

ISI, the intelligence agency of Pakistan has been involved in running military intelligence programs in India, with one of the subsections of its Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB) department devoted to performing various operations in India. The Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau (JSIB) department has also been involved in providing communications support to Pakistani agents operating in regions of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Joint Intelligence North section of the Joint Counter-Intelligence Bureau (JCIB) wing deals particularly with India.

The Pakistani ISI has encouraged and aided the terrorist activities in Kashmir. This was an easy way to keep Indian troops distracted and cause international condemnation of India.

Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf in Oct 2014 confessed during a TV interview, “We have the source (in Kashmir) besides the (Pakistan) army…People in Kashmir are fighting against (India). We just need to incite them.”

A report by India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) indicated that ISI was “desperately trying to revive Sikh” militant activity in India. The ISI is also allegedly active in printing and supplying counterfeit Indian rupee notes. It has been dampened since the demonetisation in India.

Pakistan intended to provide arms support and finance to separatists, militants and jihadi elements in India. To trigger a Balkanization of India and to utilize the spy network to act as an instrument of sabotage to exploit porous borders with Nepal and Bangladesh, Myanmar to set up bases and train anti-India militants to conduct operations against India. To install sleeper cells in India and its neighbouring countries.

Much to the dismay of Pakistan, the gameplan seems to backfire, as its economy has failed miserably and the terrorists there pose a threat to the very existence of Pakistan. Separatist movements in Balochistan and POK have gained momentum. Anti-India terrorists are also getting killed mysteriously every day. The ISI’s investment to bleed India a thousand cuts has only made Pakistan poor and weak. Nevertheless, India’s economy and security scenario have improved. With the abrogation of Article 370, improvement in the security scenario and the peaceful and congenial atmosphere in Jammu Kashmir UT, has finally shown dividends on the ground in the form of development and unprecedented tourist footfall, the backbone of the economy of the region.

Terrorists responsible for carnage and mayhem in India would proudly walk safely on Pakistan soil earlier and the ISI with its known policy of extending hospitality to these fugitives would provide all facilities. Pakistan with its declared policy to bleed India thousand cuts under the operation Topac would provide all the logistic help to create trouble in India.

Latest media reports suggest that several terrorists associated with acts of terrorism and violence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Punjab, and other Indian states, have been killed mysteriously in Pakistan by unknown gunmen. These mysterious assassinations, often executed by unidentified individuals, have sparked widespread speculations in Pakistan’s establishment. There are hints from Pakistani security agencies about the potential involvement of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

In a massive setback for Pakistani spy agency ISI, seven terrorists, who were involved in anti-India activities have been killed in Pakistan recently. The latest killing is that of Maulana Raheem Ullah Tariq, a key aide of Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar. Tariq was killed by ‘unidentified gunmen’ in Orangi town of Sindh. In November alone, three terrorists have been gunned down. Jaish’s fidayeen squad handler ShahidLatif was killed on October 10.

A close aide of wanted terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar, Dawood Malik was involved in anti-India activities. He was shot dead in North Waziristan by unidentified gunmen. Malik was a key figure in Lashkar-e-Jabbar and was closely associated with one of India’s most wanted terrorists, MasoodAzhar.

Shahid Latif was killed on the 11th of October 2023. He was a dreaded terrorist affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). He was on the most-wanted list of Indian security agencies. He masterminded the 2016 Pathankot terror attacks, resulting in the deaths of seven security personnel. Unidentified gunmen killed him in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Ziaur Rehman, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was involved in radicalizing youth against India. He was brutally shot dead by motorcycle-borne unknown assailants in Karachi on the 29th of September 2023.

Abu Qasim Kashmiri, also known as Riyaz Ahmad from Jammu, was the key figure behind the Dhangri attack in Rajouri. Unidentified gunmen also sent him to hell in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) on 8th September 2023.

An operative of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and a close aide of HafeezSaeed, Sardar Hussain Arain was responsible for the madrassa network of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD). He was gunned down near his shop in Nawabshah, Karachi on 1st August 2023. The Sidhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) claimed responsibility for his assassination. Mufti Qaiser Farooq, a former member of Lashkar-e-Taiba was killed in Pakistan in October this year. He was a former member of Lashkar-e-Taiba and a close associate of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attacks. The incident bears a striking resemblance to the murder of another cleric, Maulana Ziaur Rahman, with ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In June 2021, even a suicide bomber rammed a car into a police checkpoint just outside the house of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, killing four people, in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

In the last few weeks, scores of terrorists wanted in India have been gunned down in Pakistan by unknown gunmen. This has raised the heartbeat of those who wanted to bleed India.

Besides Pakistan, in other countries like Canada and UK, anti-India insurgents have been killed. Even there was a diplomatic row over one of the killings in Canada. This spells out a trend in the elimination period for anti-India forces abroad, where they were thought to be safe.

Who is killing these anti-India terrorists? It is not very simple to know it, but the situation in Pakistan is fragile and internecine fighting and supremacy war may also have a role. India’s astute diplomacy, Pakistan’s isolation in the international arena and its relations with Afghanistan may also be key factors. If this trend continues, the day is not far when the anti-India elements get eliminated from the international arena and hope that there will be no bloodshed.

The author is formerly Principal JK Education Department