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Pakistan offering visas to Kashmiri students on recommendation of separatists, alleges NIA

The NIA has claimed that Kashmiri separatists were recommending visa applications of Kashmiri students to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi.

Pakistan offering visas to Kashmiri students on recommendation of separatists, alleges NIA

New Delhi: The National Investigating Agency (NIA), which is probing the cross-border financing of terror operators in J&K, has claimed that Pakistan is offering scholarships to Kashmiri students to gradually alienate them from India.

The NIA said this in its detailed chargesheet filed in connection with the terror funding case against separatist leaders and their Pakistan-backed sponsors.

The probe agency claimed that Pakistan is offering student visa to Kashmiri youths and relatives of terrorists active in J&K.

"During the course of investigation, it was ascertained that students who were proceeding to Pakistan on student visas were either relatives of ex-militants or linked to families of active terrorists who had indulged in various anti-national activities and had migrated to Pakistan or they were known to Hurriyat leaders," the NIA said in the chargesheet running into several thousands of pages. 

Tightening the noose against the Kashmiri separatist leaders, the NIA claimed that the visa applications of Kashmiri students were recommended by them to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi.

The NIA named various Hurriyat leaders, including hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in this connection. 

The NIA chargesheet filed in a court on January 18 revealed that militants who fled to Pakistan had pursued their admission matters with the help of Hurriyat leaders based in Pakistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir.

The NIA said that scholarships are offered for MBBS and engineering seats under various schemes of the Pakistan government. 

The investigation done by NIA exposes a triangular nexus wherein the terrorists, the Hurriyat and the Pakistan establishment are the three vertices and they are ostensibly patronising the Kashmir students in order to prepare a generation of doctors and technocrats in Kashmir who will have leanings towards Pakistan.

The probe agency had even seized a document from the house of Nayeem Khan in which he had recommended a student for admission in a "standard medical college" in Pakistan because "her family has remained committed to the freedom struggle through thick and thin".

Similarly, a document seized from the house of Shahid-Ul-Islam showed that the Hurriyat leaders were sending recommendations to the Pakistan High Commission for the issuance of visa, it said.

The chargesheet has named Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, seven arrested Kashmiri separatist leaders and three others in the case.

The Hurriyat leaders who are accused in the terror funding case are -  Aftab Hilali alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

Shah is the son-in-law of Geelani who is a strong votary of Jammu and Kashmir`s merger with Pakistan. Hilali is a close aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. 

The NIA has alleged that the separatists, arrested on July 24 last year, conspired with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage war against India and secede Jammu and Kashmir from India. All of them have been booked under stringent anti-terror laws.

The NIA also chargesheeted businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali and two alleged stone pelters - Kamran and Javed Ahmed Bhat.

Watali has been associated with the LoC trade and has worked as the president of the LoC Traders` Association in the past.

(With IANS inputs)