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India accuses Pakistan of fomenting Sikh militancy in Indian Punjab

June 05, 2013

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Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.—AFP Photo
Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.—AFP Photo

NEW DELHI: India accused Pakistan's intelligence agency on Wednesday of trying to recruit and train militants to carry out attacks across the border in the Indian state of Punjab.

Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of pressuring Sikh militant leaders to target Indian Punjab and other parts of the country.

“There has been some significant development on the Sikh militancy front,” Shinde said in New Delhi. “Its commanders based in Pakistan are under pressure from ISI to further ISI's terror plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country,” alleged the Indian minister.

“The Sikh youths are being trained in ISI facilities in Pakistan.”

The minister singled out the threat to the northwestern state during a speech to state chief ministers gathered in New Delhi for an annual conference on internal security.

Shinde claimed Indian Punjab was also being targeted, with “a large quantity of arms and ammunition and explosives” seized by police in the last year after being allegedly smuggled across the India-Pakistan border.

Sikh youths living in Europe and the United States were also being encouraged to travel to Pakistan to train for terrorist-related attacks, Shinde told the conference.

'Maoist threat'

Also addressing the conference, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the state and national governments to work together to curb the “very grave threat” of Maoist insurgents in central India.

He has previously described the rebels as the country's most serious internal security threat.