The Pulwama attack and its aftermath has led to more and more instability in Kashmir valleys. It feels like the land of beauty and serenity now echo with the screams of death and terror. The people are constantly living under the terror of witnessing another murder or outbreak of another violent mass protest.
Enforcement Directorate is currently investigating the role of Pakistan High Commission in funding terror and has approached Delhi Court to take permission for questioning Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh in connection with a terror funding case involving Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. All these important names, as heavy as they sound, form the face of the Kashmiri separatist.
Who are Kashmiri separatists?
There has been a continuous conflict on the status of Kashmir since the time of independence. The groups which support Kashmir to either be an independent entity or become a part of Pakistan due to its majority Islamic population are known as Kashmiri Separatists. There cause is supported by All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
What is ED and why are they investigating Pakistan’s terror funding?
In simple words, the Enforcement Directorate or ED is responsible for enforcing economic laws and regulating economic crimes. Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA) are the two acts that ED is supposed to enforce.
It has been suspected by many countries and international organizations that Pakistan is funding terrorism to give a boost to its economy. Pakistan is allegedly a safe haven for all these terrorist groups and militant camps. Even though claims have been made every now and then but evidences still remain weak. ED is currently investigating big names in Pakistan as well as Kashmir to trace the sources of funding to the terror enforcing groups in Kashmir. According to reports by ABP news, a sum of 7 Crores has been funded to the Kashmiri separatists from Pakistan to promote terror enforcing activities. The documents that have been received by ABP News also support the role of Pakistan High Commission in disbursing these terror funds. Big names were mentioned in code words. Big names such as the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat’s leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani are also involves in these reports. The reports contain the names as well as the amount of money that has been transferred in the form of terror funding to various people.
According to Economic times, “ED has attached assets of Rs 1.03 crores belonging to businessman Zahoor Ahmmad Watali in a money laundering case related to funding of terror organizations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Monday.”
The official sources quoted that Watali “has been found to be involved in fund raising and as a financial conduit of Hurriyat leaders.”
Again, accusations of NIA include Watali’s combined efforts with Hafeez Saeed and 11 others of “conspiring to wage war against the government” and supporting violence in the valley.
The investigation is still ongoing while government recently withdrew protection given to Kashmiri separatist leaders.
Sources: Wikipedia, Economic times, Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA)
Image Credits: Wikipedia, Rising Kashmir, Greater Jammu, India TV