In response to perceived threats from what is being termed as India's "death squads," Pakistan has heightened security measures for individuals designated as terrorists by India, despite Islamabad's previous denial of their existence on Pakistani soil.
A report by The Intercept, citing "secret documents" produced by Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau (IB), alleges that India has employed individuals to assassinate "Sikh and Kashmiri activists" living in Pakistan.
While Pakistan has accused India in the past of collaborating with Afghan Intelligence, the report suggests that India is also using the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a base for its intelligence operations.
Sources within the Indian security establishment dismiss reports of "death squads," stating that some individuals on India's list of wanted terrorists have been killed by 'unknown gunmen' in Pakistan.
The sources suggest that some reported deaths may be the result of internal clean-up operations by the ISI, targeting terrorists who no longer serve a purpose to the Pakistani establishment.
The Intercept's report claims that Pakistani security officials believe India is collaborating with local criminal and dissident networks to carry out assassinations and attacks.
The "secret documents" warn Pakistani officials to implement 'heightened vigilance' and 'foolproof security measures' to protect these individuals.
The report alleges that Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) is targeting individuals and religious institutions supporting an armed insurgency in Kashmir, as well as Sikh activists in Pakistan wanted by the Indian government.
It suggests that R&AW has a footprint in the UAE and Afghanistan, with warnings of potential terrorist attacks and assassinations planned in Pakistan.
In September, the Pakistan IB reportedly warned of R&AW planning "terrorist attacks" and assassinations in Pakistan, operating from a militant training camp in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.
The report also cites a Pakistani intelligence assessment, indicating that two Sikh activists in Lahore and Islamabad were on R&AW's radar, including Lakhbir Singh Rode, a prominent Sikh terrorists leader wanted by India.
Rode, residing in Lahore, is accused of collaborating with the ISI, with allegations of involvement in terrorism, narco-terrorism in Punjab, and smuggling arms from Pakistan into India.
The report claims that information about Rode's residence and frequented gurdwara was provided by the Indian government to Pakistan in a demand to extradite him.
Earlier, Khalistan Commando Force leader Paramjit Singh Panjwar was shot dead in Lahore in May 2023, echoing a similar incident in January 2020 when Khalistan Liberation Force leader Harmeet Singh was killed in Lahore.
At the time, sources in the Indian security establishment suggested that Panjwar was targeted by Pakistan's ISI in recent years.
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