New Delhi: Intelligence officials in New Delhi are pushing back against claims that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate has begun sharing warnings on terrorist attacks in Kashmir with New Delhi, saying that a warning of a bombing in south Kashmir’s Awantipora last week was made through an anonymous call to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, not a government communication.
"There was no ISI warning," a senior official in RAW familiar with the case said. “There was just an anonymous phone call made to the High Commission, which offered no detail on the possible perpetrators of the purported attack or its timing."
News that the ISI may have shared terrorism-related intelligence was read by some analysts as a sign Pakistan is reaching out to New Delhi in an effort to defuse tensions, amidst a slew of measures which include the shutting down of jihadist offices in Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad and the state takeover of key seminaries.
Indian diplomats, the RAW official said, had passed on the warning to the intelligence services in New Delhi, who in turn routed it through the Ministry of Home Affairs to the police in Jammu and Kashmir. "The MHA's communication does not state a source of origin," an official in Jammu and Kashmir added.
The information of the purported terrorist strike in Awantipora, was also conveyed through phone calls to several other diplomatic missions in Islamabad, including the United States.
"Frankly, this so-called warning doesn’t mean a lot," a senior government official told Firstpost. "The heads of the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Research and Analysis Wing have been in periodic contact, so if the Pakistanis wanted to pass on something, they’d just have picked up the phone."
Pakistan-based groups continue to stage acts of terrorism in Kashmir, with two suicide-attackers, both believed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police to be Pakistani nationals, killing five Central Reserve Police Force personnel last week.
Al-Umar, led by one-time Srinagar resident Mushtaq Zargar, claimed responsibility for the attack. Held in prison in Jammu and Kashmir until December, 1999, Zargar was released in return for the lives of hostages on board an Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar by the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Zargar has since appeared at several public events in Muzaffarabad, related to the jihad in Kashmir in Muzaffarabad, in spite of an Interpol notice calling for his arrest on sight.
Islamabad has, in recent weeks, reached out to India repeatedly to open talks, hoping to avert a repeat of February’s military crisis, sparked off by a suicide-bombing targeting police personnel in Pulwama. Pakistan has also been under pressure because of the threat of international sanctions over its failure to act against terror financing.
Last month, the Pakistan government shut down the Muzaffarabad offices of all twelve jihadist groups associated with the United Jihad Council, a coalition of terrorist organisations operating in Kashmir. It also proscribed several affiliates of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
However, Pakistan has failed to assuage Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suspicions, fueled by attacks like last week’s strike in Anantnag, that Islamabad is doing enough to act against terrorist groups. Modi recently told China’s president Xi Jinping that Pakistan had not done enough so far to create an atmosphere "free of terrorism".
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
Updated Date: Jun 17, 2019 16:13:50 IST