New Delhi: In a major breakthrough, Zahoor Watali, the Srinagar-based businessman who has been arrested in connection with the alleged financing of separatists in J&K, has revealed that the ISI has entrusted two senior Pakistan Army officers for fuelling tension in the Kashmir Valley.
Zee Media, which claimed to have accessed the statements made by Watali during his interrogation by the National Investigating Agency (NIA), said on Tuesday that the ISI has identified Sohail Amir and Hafiz – two Brigadier-rank officers in Pakistan Army – to carry forward its anti-India agenda in Kashmir.
Watali's confession before the NIA also exposes the nexus between the ISI, the Pakistan Army and the alleged terror fund raisers.
Watali is in the centre of an ongoing probe by the NIA into the alleged cross-border funding of the Kashmiri separatists to create unrest in the Jammu and Kashmir.
Watali was arrested by the NIA on the charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in Kashmir.
He is said to be very close to hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The NIA had earlier arrested seven separatist leaders in connection with its probe into terror funding from Pakistan and militant groups based there.
The NIA had alleged that money was being raised to fund separatist and terror activities in J&K.
The central probe agency had claimed that the accused were waging war against the country and were involved in various offences punishable under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Shah was among those arrested.
Others who were arrested were Nayeem Khan, Ayaz Akbar Khanday, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah (all from Geelani's faction of Hurriyat), Shahid-ul-Islam (of the Hurriyat faction led by the Mirwaiz) and Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karatay of a faction of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.
Former Pakistan-administered Kashmir Prime Minister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary had attended the marriage ceremony of Watali's son at the businessman's residence in the posh Srinagar neighbourhood of Baagaat.
His business empire is reportedly spread in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Dubai.
Watali was arrested by the NIA on the charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in Kashmir. He is said to be close to Geelani.