New Delhi: Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is preparing ground for another round of bloodshed in Kashmir. The ISI has been improving training facilities in its camps based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), while also reviving terror groups that were active in Kashmir in the 90s and were till now considered defunct.
Groups like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, and now Al Badr have taken over the battle with security forces which recently took down almost the entire cadre of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.
Highly placed sources told News18 that with the “active support of ISI and better access to training infrastructure,” terror groups are now being able to infiltrate into the valley in larger numbers and carry out more attacks against the security forces. Dozens of such training camps have been spotted across the border where hundreds of new recruits have been observed undergoing battle training, sources told News18.
An indication of a new round of battle between forces and terror groups in the valley has been a lot of movement in the Al Badr group. This dreaded terror organisation was active in Afghanistan during the cold war and was brought to Kashmir in the early 90s. For more than a decade, nobody heard of them and now the chief of this terror group, Bakht Zameen, has again starting making public speeches in Pakistan.
On June 16, Zameen reportedly made a visit to Neelam valley in PoK and delivered a speech in which he said that time had come to launch an “active in the war for liberation of Kashmir”. Zameen also talked about recruiting Kashmiri locals. In a recently released video, the first for Al Badr, the terror group claimed to have already recruited 100 youths and were on their way to recruit 200 more. Sources on the ground say that the actual strength of the terror group is probably around a dozen.
Al Badr cadres have been found to be working closely with the existing Over Ground Worker (OGW) network of Lashkar and Hizbul Mujahideen.
While Al Badr terror group is still trying to organise itself, Jaish-e-Muhammed, which was, till a few years ago, believed to have been completely busted, has been at the forefront of terror recruitment and attacks against the security forces.
The recruitment of locals in these terror camps has been steadily increasing. According to data collected by the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), 66 locals were recruited in terror groups in 2015, 88 in 2016, 126 in 2017 and 130 this year. And sources say that a lot of the recruitment of locals this year has been in Jaish.
“Jaish and other groups have taken over in Kashmir after a number of terrorists from Hizb and Lashkar, such as Abu Dujana, Abu Ismail, Yaseen Itto and Qayoom Najar, were taken down last year. Also lot of these names are spread to just spread disinformation...they just keep changing labels, but the undeniable fact is that they’re definitely trying to keep the pot on boiler by pushing in more terrorists,” a senior security force officer deployed in Kashmir said.