"Pak govt 'completely aware' of intelligence agencies 'financing militants' in Kashmir"

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Lahore, Nov 10 (ANI): Pakistani intelligence agencies are "fully supporting and financing" terrorist groups in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Pakistan government "is completely aware" about this, a member of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has revealed.

"The intelligence agencies in Pakistan are still fully supporting and financing militant groups here and the government is completely aware," the BBC quoted Zahid Habib Sheikh from the JKLF, as saying.

"They will tell you there are no training camps but, of course, there are. This has always been Pakistan's Kashmir strategy, but it is a selfish policy that has only damaged our cause," he added.

Sheikh said that he feels Pakistan is supporting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir not for the sake of Kashmiris, but to keep India engaged in conflict, and to use the militants as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

"Pakistan has also turned what should be a nationalist cause, about human rights abuses by India, into a religious cause," he said.

Sheikh's candid confession clearly indicates that Pakistani authorities are directly supporting militancy in the Kashmir region, something which the country vehemently denies.

"I assure you, as a state, as a government, there is no such policy of training Kashmiri militants to be sent across (to Kashmir in India)," Interior Minister Rehman Malik says.

The paper also quoted a 25-year-old engineering student-turned-militant as saying, "While I was at university, I started going to sermons given by preachers and, thank God, I joined a jihadi group. I went to a training camp with hundreds of others for three months. Now I'm ready to do whatever they ask me, to win all of Kashmir for Pakistan."

His mother told that she had thought that her son was going for Quranic teaching, but was horrified to find that he had, in fact, had militant training.

"He is a different person since he went to the training camp; the way he talks and dresses. They have brainwashed him," revealed the man's brother.

"If Pakistan wants to fight India, why doesn't it do it through its army, why does it have to use boys like my brother?" he added.

The implication being that it is the Pakistani state that is behind the radicalisation and preparation of his brother as a militant, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a statement against the report, with the (ministry) spokesman terming it as baseless and malicious. (ANI)

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