New Delhi, Oct 15: Pakistan using its high commission offices to undertake terror related activities is nothing new. Its offices in Colombo and Dhaka have been favourite destinations to plan, plot and execute attacks in India.
Pakistan has been undertaking such operations so openly that recently the Bangladesh government refused to accept the new Pakistan envoy stating that Islamabad was using diplomacy as a cover for ISI related activities. The Bangladesh government said that it believed that the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka had emerged as a centre for anti government activities.
The latest warning:
The subject becomes important to discuss in the wake of a fresh input suggesting that an official in the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka had met with a few members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh to discuss a terror strike in India.
As per the report, the discussion was on staging a major strike in the northeastern states and use the Assam NRC as a focal point. The plot according to the report is being hatched to strike just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The NRC would be a major issue during the elections and now there are fresh demands to undertake a similar exercise in other northeastern states as well.
High Commissions of terror:
Using an envoy to undertake terror related activities provides a perfect cover for the ISI. The envoy enjoys diplomatic immunity as a result of which he cannot be held on the land that he is serving in.
In November 2016, investigations revealed a major plot being hatched in the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. The ISI officer posted as an envoy admitted that he along with four others were on the verge of carrying out subversive activities in India. The officer, Mehmood Akthar, who had served in the Pakistan army's Baloch regiment was detained by the crime branch of the Delhi police. He said that he was only following instructions of the ISI. He was however deported as he could not be held in India owing to diplomatic immunity.
A similar case was reported from the high commission in Colombo. This was a larger plot that was being hatched by the ISI to further its activities in South India. The scanner was on a top Pakistan diplomat, Amir Zubair Siddiqui who was tasked with setting up southern modules.
The entire plot came to light following the arrest of Zaheed Hussain, a resident of Kandy in Sri-Lanka. He said that a module was being set up at the best of Siddiqui in Chennai and other states in the south of India. The intent was to set up a module and then strike at the American and Israeli consulates in South India.
The ISI decided to use its high commission office in Sri Lanka as it would be easier to monitor operations down south. For this purpose Siddiqui had even identified a Malaysian to raise funds for the module.
Apart from setting up modules and plotting attacks, the Pakistan High Commission has also been notorious for facilitating the entry of terrorists into India. Take the case of two Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists of Pakistan origin who were arrested in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of February.
Both of them told the police that they were issued visas by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. This is however not the first instance when the police had found that visas for terrorists were being issued by the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi.
Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that when the infiltrations become difficult, the High Commission facilitates the entry of terrorists through a legal route. On their arrival at India they get in touch with a tanzeem in the Valley, following which they blend in with the rest of the terrorists.
The High Commission also has been accused of providing support to the separatists of Kashmir. The National Investigation Agency during its probe had learnt that the separatists were in touch with the officials of the High Commission, who in turn were providing tactical support.
The High Commission has also been found guilty of channelising funds for both separatists and terrorists. IB officials say that the High Commission has been the best bet for the ISI as the officials in it always get away thanks to diplomatic immunity.