GUWAHATI, Aug 26 � The recent cyber war launched by Pakistan, which resulted in exodus of thousands of people of North East from different parts of the country was not the first instance of the region affected by actions of Pakistan as in the past also efforts were made by the neighbouring country to create disturbance in this part of India through different means.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that for quite some time, Pakistan has been trying to keep the North East region of India disturbed so that India cannot afford to keep its entire focus on the western sector, that is along the border with Pakistan.
Pakistan�s efforts to create disturbance in the North East region started way back in the early 1960s and the efforts are still on and the recent cyber war succeeded in fomenting trouble not only in this region but also in other parts of the country.
Security sources said that when insurgency started in Nagaland in the early 1960s, the leaders of the insurgent groups were given shelter in erstwhile East Pakistan and with this the effort of Pakistan to destabilize the North East formally started. Later, the leaders of the Mizo National Front also received active support and help from Pakistan.
Even after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, Pakistan managed to keep India busy in the North East by extending help to the militant groups and over the years, the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) managed to keep its strong bases in Bangladesh. After Sheikh Muzibur Rahman was killed, the Governments in Bangladesh other than those headed by Sheikh Hasina maintained anti-India posture to some extent, which helped the cause of Pakistan, sources added.
Sources revealed that in the early 1980s, Pakistani agencies started extending help to the militant groups of Manipur, while, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) also received different kinds of help from that country. Top leaders of ULFA were given Pakistani passports, while, batches of ULFA cadres were trained in Pakistan near Rawalpindi and a few other places. According to information available with the Indian security agencies, the Pakistani agencies were so impressed with the performance of one ULFA member during training that the ISI wanted to recruit him. But the ULFA member did not stay in Pakistan after the completion of the training.
The ULFA also received programmable Time Devise (PTD) switches from ISI, with which the outfit managed to trigger off a number of lethal explosions.
Sources said that in the late 1990s, a number of suspected Pakistani operatives were arrested in Guwahati, following which at least 40 Harkat ul Mujaheedin activists were arrested from different parts of the state and a few of them were trained in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is still not known whether any sleeper cells of the Pakistani backed jehadi elements are now active in Assam or not.