India ups ante as NIA video shows Pakistan's role in Kashmir unrest

INDIA-KASHMIR-PAKISTAN-UNREST Kashmiri doctors and paramedics, their eyes covered by patches, take part in a protest at a hospital in Srinagar | AFP

India has upped the ante against Pakistan on Kashmir issue with the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday. It made public evidence of Pakistan's "state support" to the recent violent unrest in the state and plans of terrorists to carry out major strikes in other parts of India, including Delhi.

In a first such move which could affect the already strained ties between India and Pakistan, the NIA released confessional video of arrested Pakistani national and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Bahadur Ali arrested recently in Jammu and Kashmir after he infiltrated the LoC.

Ali's confessions corroborate India's stance on Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terror. Delhi had issued a demarche to Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit on Tuesday over the country's continued support to cross-border terrorism.

Ali confessed that Pakistan was fuelling the recent violent unrest in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. Ali also spilled the beans on 26/11 mastermind and JU-D founder Hafiz Saeed's continuing attempts to carry out a major terrorist strike in India and the “state support" he enjoys in Pakistan. His confessions also indicate Pakistan Army's involvement in training the LeT cadre and facilitating their infiltration .

Ali said the Lashkar control room known as Alpha 3 was located at a high altitude in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and was being led by commanders identified as Major Sahib and Captain Sahib. The commanders directed the LeT terrorists by giving them GPS devices, grid references, maps, six high-power radio sets, arms and ammunition, AK-47s, rifles, Ikon wireless sets, commando combat material and large quantities of magazines.

"To maintain such a high frequency radio station which covers such a large area cannot be done by individuals without some kind of state support. The kind of commando training undergone by them and equipment used also shows military expertise," NIA IG Sanjeev Singh said.

Recruited by Hafiz Saeed in 2008-09, Ali participated in three training modules of LeT, the recent one being in April 2016, where 30-50 militants were being trained, Singh said.

Before Ali and his two associates reached the border, the locations and coordinates were shown to them on Google map. They were asked to lob grenades and mix in the crowd agitating against Wani's death.

Born in 1995 in Jia Bagga village, Raiwind in Lahore, Ali alias Abu Saifullah is the son of Mohammed Haneef who had worked in the local police in Pakistan. Ali was arrested by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on July 25, 2016, with an AK-47, live rounds, grenades, grenade launcher, sophisticated communication equipment and other material of Pakistani and international origin, the NIA said.

The NIA move to release the confessional video is also being seen as a "tit-for-tat " by Delhi after Islamabad showed a video of alleged Indian spy and naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in March this year where he allegedly confessed to involvement in terror activities in Balochistan and Karachi. The video was released in a joint press conference by Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) head Lt Gen Asim Bajwa and Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid.

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