BY SUMIT KUMAR SINGH
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Just days ahead of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, Indian intelligence agencies have apprised security forces about a spurt in terror camps near Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan, sources said here on Monday.
India has asked Pakistan to restore the surrounding land of about 100 acres in the name of Guru Nanak Dev, currently under encroachment or acquisition, to the Gurdwara. “The response and approach of Pakistan has so far been, to say the least, disappointing,” said a senior IPS officer adding that “terror camps have been spotted in these regions”.
The agencies have also alerted about the increasing terror activities across Muridke in Sheikhupura district in Pakistani Punjab to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of pilgrims.
“These terror camps indicate that Pakistan has started their nefarious plan to activate their ‘K2’ plan, which stands for Kashmir and Khalistan,” said a senior IPS officer.
Pakistan’s ISI wants to create trouble in both Punjab and Kashmir and in this regard, it is not only trying to infiltrate its terrorists but also boost the Khalistan movement in Punjab.
Sources said, “The designated global terrorist Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, founder of terror outfits Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), is running these camps.” It has also been found that women are being trained in the terror camps.
IPS officer Vivek Kumar Johri, Director General of the country’s largest border guarding force Border Security Force, has been alerted about the prevailing situation across the border as the force has been tasked to secure the Kartarpur Terminal and the corridor.
Kartarpur corridor, to be opened on November 9, will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, just 4 kilometres from the international border, located in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
India has time and again taken up the issue of Khalistani extremists misusing the new route to destabilize the region and spread their propaganda and even shared a dossier with Pakistan.
The agencies have warned that Sikh fundamentalist organisations like Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) plan to use the Kartarpur Corridor to further their secessionist agenda. The SFJ is being supported by Pakistan-based handlers to provide money and logistical support to local terrorists in Punjab to carry out subversive activities.
India has also raised alarm that several gurdwaras in Pakistan are still being used to promote pro-Khalistan campaign and they have shared inputs regarding pamphlets being distributed at some gurdwaras in Pakistan that talked about “Sikh Referendum 2020”.
The SFJ, headed by Avtar Singh Pannun and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, started advocating a separate Khalistan state as well as an online secessionist campaign, the “Sikh Referendum 2020”.
Punjab Police has registered 10 different cases against the SFJ and its members, while the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also probing the group in one case.
India also found that Pakistan is making all attempts to revive and activate members of other banned organisations like Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF).
Several Pakistan-based terrorist groups were engaged in smuggling weapons into India since August 5, post the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last month, the intelligence agencies had also submitted a detailed report to MHA about drones carrying weapons coming from Pakistan. The report had stated that Pakistani state actors are behind these incidents. It also states that the drones recovered are Chinese made.
Punjab Police and NIA are carrying out probe to account for the weapons consignments apparently smuggled into India from across the border by the two drones recovered near the India-Pakistan border over the last one month. The drones were spotted in Jhabal town in Tarn Taran district. Two drones were recovered.
Both the recovered drones were apparently sent by different terror groups, linked with the Pakistani ISI, and the state-sponsored jihadi and pro-Khalistani terrorist outfits working under its command.
Earlier, India had raised concerns with Pakistan after Gopal Singh Chawla, close aide of the terrorist Hafiz Saeed, was included in a 10-member committee for managing Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
India had also pointed out the association of other anti-India elements with the corridor such as Bison Singh, Kuljit Singh, Maninder Singh, and others.
After this, Pakistan had dropped these people from the committee and formed a new committee.
These developments have raised fresh concerns in India about the safety and security of pilgrims from India and misuse of the corridor for anti-India activities.
BY SUMIT KUMAR SINGH