Among the documents cited as evidence to prove a nexus between Pakistan government, ISI and Hurriyat leaders, the National Investigation Agency has submitted in court a letter written by a Pakistani Prime Minister to main hawala conduit and chargesheeted businessman from the Valley, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali. Part of court documents in NIA’s Jammu and Kashmir terror funding chargesheet, the letter was recovered from Watali’s residence last year.
NIA officials refused to divulge which Prime Minister of Pakistan had written to Watali as this letter is part of sealed documents.
However, sources said that the businessman is known to have met former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif while former PM of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Sultan Mahmood Chaudhari had attended his son’s wedding around seven years back.
Charged for bringing in several crores illegally through hawala and other means, Watali is also close to Pakistani spy agency ISI.
NIA says in its chargesheet that it recovered a list of ISI officials from his residence, apart from a letter written by Tariq Shafi, proprietor of Al Shafi Group of Companies addressed to Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi recommending grant of visa to Watali. “It shows his proximity with Pakistani establishment,” says the NIA chargesheet.
Pakistan-based Al Shafi Group has business interests in the field of sugar, iron etc.
NIA says that Tariq Shafi’s name figures in the document of foreign contribution, used for anti-India activities, seized from Watali’s cashier-cum-accountant Ghulam Mohammad Bhat.
The anti-terror agency has used the testimony of Watali’s son Yasir Shah Watali and that of Naim-ul-Zaffar Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, among others to nail the conspirators.
Among eight most crucial witnesses are close aides of Hurriyat leaders, whose statements have been recorded under Section 164 of CrPC. NIA has given them pseudonyms in court documents — “Harry”, “Potter”, “Charlie”, “Romeo”, “Alpha”, “Gama” and “Pie” —to protect their identities.
These witnesses have explained how Hurriyat conference, outfits like LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen, stone pelters are orchestrating violence in J&K under overall patronage and financial support of Pakistani establishment and agencies.
Talking about the funding of separatists, NIA has claimed that while funds were channelised through hawala, LoC trade and other means, sometimes funds are provided directly by Pakistan High Commission in India.
According to NIA, Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-inlaw, Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Funtoosh is another crucial link in the case.
“Funtoosh was in direct contact with the High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi and would apprise him about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” says NIA