Numbers in Pak's Nepal mission increasing: SSB chief

Pakistan is stuffing suspected intelligence operatives in “menacingly high” numbers in its Nepal embassy in Kathmandu to channelise anti-India activities while its spy agency ISI is enhancing its “infrastructure” facilities on the Indo-Nepal border, a senior official said.

These claims were made by Arun Chaudhary, Director-General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which guards the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal border, in an article he wrote for the 50th anniversary issue of “SSB Samachar”.

Chaudhary, a 1977 batch officer, had a long stint with the Intelligence Bureau from 1994 and was promoted to special director in the agency in 2011 before moving out to the Central Industrial Security Force  and now Sashastra Seema Bal.

Chaudhary said the Indo-Nepal border has become increasingly vulnerable from the point of view of infiltration of terrorists into India over the past 20 years and in almost all terror strikes, investigations have pointed towards trends that suggest that most of the hardware and plastic explosives entered the Indian territory through Nepal or Bangladesh.

He was of the view that borders were being used by Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Hizbul Mujahideen, Al Badr, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohhamed (JeM) and of late, the Indian Mujahideen.

“In all these crossings, the complicity of the Pak embassy at Kathmandu was coming into notice whose strength grew menacingly high without any other ostensible work to show. On the borders, the Pak ISI ensured that there was growth of infrastructure which was congenial to their operational needs of India directed violent activities,” he said in the article.

India has been complaining about anti-India activities emanating from the Pakistan embassy in Kathmandu, which provided "all help"  to terrorists to target the country.  The Indian narrative also claimed that the embassy worked as a base for pumping in fake Indian currency into the country to destabilise the economy.

Several Pakistan embassy officials were arrested by Nepali law enforcement agencies with fake Indian currency.

Former Kashmiri militants residing in Pakistan, who takes the Nepal route to enter India and surrender, also face problems due to “highhandedness” of embassy officials.

Sources said the moment the former militants land in Kathmandu, the Pakistan embassy officials take their Pakistani passports and tear them off, leaving them without any document.

Bringing to fore another problem area for India on the border, Chaudhary said the threat of increased violence on the borders on the Nepal side has “further grown” because of the electoral setback for the Maoists and the Madhesi parties in the recently-concluded Nepal elections.

“These developments need close monitoring as it could impinge on our national security,” he said. Pitching for an emphasis on intelligence-driven surveillance and operational work on the borders, he talked about the need for building a cadre of intelligence operatives from assistant commandants to constables for the SSB.

He said they should be carefully selected and deployed for at least eight years.
“There is a need to properly equip at least two schools for intelligence training at Delhi and Kolkata which could impart first grade training,” he added.

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