ISI giving terror training to Sikh youths in Pakistan


ISI giving terror training to Sikh youths in PakistanNEW DELHI: Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is overseeing the training of unemployed Sikh youths to carry out terror activities against India, a Union Home Ministry report says.

A section of Sikhs now settled in Europe, the US and Canada are also being instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda, said the report tabled in the Parliament on Monday.

The report said the "commanders" of terror groups based in Pakistan were under ISI pressure to take forward its terror plans in Punjab as well as other parts of India.

For this purpose, Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups had been involved in providing training to Sikh youths there.

"Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks," the report said.

The revelation came to the fore after a group of Home Ministry officials, led by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, submitted a report on internal security to a Parliamentary Committee on Estimates headed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

According to the report, "there have been some developments on the Sikh militancy front and radicalization of youths by terrorist groups through the misuse of Internet and social media has emerged as a big challenge.

"Sikh youths based or settled in Europe, the US and Canada are also being misguided and instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda, but the situation is being watched closely by the central and state agencies and they are taking lawful action as and when required.

"The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies," the report said.

The report reveals that activities of radicalized people returning from conflict areas and threat of lone wolf attack pose a challenge.

The ministry told the panel that India continues to remain the prime focus of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and a faction of Indian Mujahideen besides groups like SIMI and Al-Unmah.

Separately, there are indications regarding revival of JeM in Pakistan and renewed efforts of the outfit to cause harm to India. Besides, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Indian Sub-continent have started posing new challenges.

Sikh separatist or Khalistani groups for long enjoyed sancutary in Pakistan, where they were funded and trained. Indian security forces crushed the Khalistani movement in 1993 after a decade of bloodshed in Punjab.