When Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), attended a meeting with terrorists earlier this month, biological warfare was also on the agenda.
The involvement of the ISI, the Pakistani military intelligence agency, in the troubles in Kashmir is well known. It has been instrumental in creating trouble in J&K for decades by training, funding and arming terrorists before sending them across the border. Now, comes more evidence of the ISI’s involvement with terror and the threat of biological attacks by Pakistan army-aided terrorists.
The latest intelligence reports say that on October 9, at Chakoti, District Bagh, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Lieutenant General Naveed attended a meeting with terrorists of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Along with the ISI chief were three ISI officers: Brigadier Hafiz Ahmed, Lieutenant Colonel Javad Ahmed and Major Zafar Ali. Representing the Pakistan Army was Captain Mansoor Ali.
Two major terrorist leaders were present: Judda Khan of the Hizb-ul and Javed Akhtar of the Jaish.
Lieutenant General Naveed made two major points. He wanted the terrorists to be well-funded and in place in Jammu and Kashmir before the onset of winter to create even more trouble. This is because the passes close in the winter months and the ISI’s policy is to ensure there are enough terrorists in the state before that.
The report says, “The ISI chief has assigned the responsibility of funding the terrorists’ activity to above Pak Army and ISI officers and tasked them to infiltrate militants into India before the onset of the winter and snowfall. They have also decided to activate all the dormant launch pads.”
The other aspect is even more distressing and worrying for India in the long run. During the meeting, the prospect of Pakistan army officers trained in China in biological warfare to be deployed along the Line of Control was discussed. Why that would be done is not expressly stated in the report but it is a clear, unequivocal threat. The report says, “Twenty Army officers (of the rank of major and captain) have already been routed to China for biological warfare training. After completion of the training, they may be deployed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for nefarious activities against India.”
What the “nefarious” activities are going to be is not clear as yet, but India will have to be prepared for the worst.