New Delhi: The chargesheet filed against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin will not alter the terror funding scenario in Kashmir, according to defence experts.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 18 January filed the chargesheet against Saeed, Salahuddin and 10 others under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for carrying out secessionist activities in Kashmir and funding terror in the Valley.
“It does not matter whether or not NIA has investigated them, but nothing will come out of it because it will not alter Pakistan’s stance on the matter. Secondly, even if Hafiz Saeed or Salahuddin are prosecuted, someone else will take over and continue the subversive activities," said H.S. Panag, a former Indian Army officer and defence expert.
An intelligence official outlined one way in which the financing network, which also funds the rock-throwing protesters who target security forces, works.
“One of the main sources of funds is invoicing fraud during trade deals. If a retailer in another state says that he is buying dry fruits from Kashmir worth Rs25 lakh, he actually pays the wholesaler in Kashmir Rs1 crore, while the invoice reflects the former amount. The remaining Rs75 lakh is then released in very small instalments of Rs1.5-2 lakh to fund the stone pelters," said the official, who did not wish to be named.
The official said that while the separatists were being investigated for receiving funds from the LeT to carry out subversive activities in Kashmir, the hawala money network is also used to fund militants.
“A significant portion of these funds is also used to sustain home-grown terrorists. This money is used to finance their food, provisions, upkeep and other expenses that they incur," the officer added.
NIA said separatist leaders belonging to the Hurriyat Conference had formed a network of cadres fuelling stone-pelting activities and civil strife across Kashmir, “who incite the youth to attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces who are deployed there for the maintenance of law and order."
“… under the overall guidance and instructions from Hafiz Syed, Syed Salahuddin and their Pakistani handlers, the separatist leaders of Jammu & Kashmir, and stone-pelters form strategies and action-plans to launch violent protests and communicate the same to the masses in the form of ‘protest calendars’ released through newspapers, social media and religious leaders, creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in the State of Jammu & Kashmir," the chargesheet filed by NIA said.