As ISI’s Links With Amritpal Singh Come to Fore, All About the Pakistani Intelligence Agency

Leading intelligence sources told CNN-News18 on Monday that Amritpal Singh, a Khalistani separatist with international links received a significant social media push from Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI through indirect funding routes. Read the full report here

Facebook and Instagram accounts, according to them, are posting thousands of images of alleged Sikh persecution in India. The sources said these posts are also advertised, with their visibility in Canada, the UK, and Germany.

The sources claim that these advertisements were being made in such a way that they only reach young Sikhs between the ages of 18 and 25.

In a case that has shocked the country, Amritpal Singh’s supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and stormed a police station in Ajnala on the outskirts of Amritsar city, demanding that Lovepreet Singh alias Toofan, an accused in a case involving kidnapping, be released. A few policemen were injured during the clash, according to officials.

Dubai-returned Amritpal Singh, often described as a Khalistan sympathiser, was recently anointed the head of ‘Waris Punjab De‘, the organisation founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu who died in a road accident in February last year.

But What is the ISI? News18 Explains:

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is Pakistan’s principal intelligence agency. It was founded in 1948 and is in charge of supplying intelligence to the Pakistani military as well as performing intelligence activities in support of the country’s national security goals.

As per a report by Times of India, the ISI has been implicated in a number of high-profile operations and has been accused of political and military activities both within and outside of Pakistan. The agency has been the subject of much scrutiny and controversy over the years.

When Was it Founded and What are Its Functions

The ISI Pakistan was founded in 1948, shortly after Pakistan was constituted. The agency has played an important part in the country’s political and military affairs over the years, and has been involved in a number of high-profile missions.

The functions of the ISI in Pakistan include collecting and analysing intelligence, conducting clandestine operations, and providing intelligence support to the military and other government agencies, the report says.

In Pakistan, the ISI operates through a network of operatives and sources. The agency is also thought to have tight ties with various intelligence agencies both inside and outside of Pakistan.

Pakistan Military and ISI

As per the report, the Pakistan military directly controls the ISI, which provides intelligence support to the military. The ISI and the military have a tight cooperation, and the two agencies frequently collaborate on intelligence and security issues.

The ISI’s reputation in Pakistan and abroad is mixed. While the agency is largely regarded as one of the most powerful in the world, it has also been the focus of much criticism and controversy. Others have accused the agency of engaging in political and military actions both within and outside of Pakistan, Times of India reports.

ISI’s Link With Amritpal Singh

A Times of India report quoted sources as saying that Singh was “discovered” by ISI operatives and was subsequently “trained” to talk in such a way that would “strike a chord with the radically-inclined Sikhs, both in India and overseas”.

According to the report, Singh has the support of Avtar Singh Khanda, a radical leader living in the United Kingdom who is associated to Khalistan TV. Khanda is said to have supported Singh as a “pro-Khalistan icon” by using his alleged links with radical Sikh organisations with leaders residing abroad and in contact with ISI.

The News18 report said as part of the ISI’s social media campaign, young Sikhs between the ages of 18 and 25 are being targeted via Facebook and Instagram with images of claimed “suppression” and “atrocities” against Sikhs in India. They are being pushed by advertising that can also be seen in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Sources said these advertisements also stress Amritpal Singh’s comparable attire and manner to that of Bhindranwale.

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