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Fund link in expulsions

New Delhi, Feb. 8: India’s decision to expel four Pakistan High Commission officers, apart from its deputy high commissioner, is based on intelligence inputs that they were allegedly funding disruptive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The four high commission officials who were today declared persona non grata by the ministry of external affairs are Habibur Rehman, Aftab Ahmed, Abdul Razak and Mohammed Nazir.

Their charge d’ affaires, Jalil Abbas Jilani, too, has been asked to go home after disclosures by Anjum Zamrud Habib, a member of Muslim Khwateen-e-Markaz — the women’s wing of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference — on her arrest that Jilani gave her Rs 3.07 lakh. She disclosed that the cash was meant to be handed over to Hurriyat chief Abdul Ghani Bhat.

On the basis of her statement, Kashmir Awareness Bureau chief Shabir Ahmed Dar was picked up and Rs 2.15 lakh recovered from his Malviya Nagar office-cum-home.

Investigation in the Anjum case has revealed that the four officials were passing on cash to conduits of Kashmiri militants. According to government officials, this is not the first instance of Pakistan High Commission’s direct involvement in militant funding coming to light.

Delhi police sources said Anjum and Shabir confessed that a predecessor of Shabir, too, received funds from the Pakistan mission.

A week ago, a Kashmiri was detained by Delhi police. He is believed to have told the police that the Pakistan mission here was using his services to channel funds to militant outfits in the Valley. The police, however, kept the detention a secret. A senior government officer said they decided to crack the whip on the high commission officials after their involvement in several cases surfaced.

Government sources said they felt the situation was more serious after going through evidence on cash-for-terror flowing from the Pakistan consulate.

Delhi police are looking into the bank accounts of Anjum and Shabir. Investigators, however, have little hope of finding a large amount of cash in the bank deposits because they said these organisations prefer to keep liquid cash in hand.

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