Kashmiri youths travelling to Pakistan on valid visas sneak back in with terrorists; 17 killed so far

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Seventeen Kashmiri youths who had travelled to Pakistan on valid travel documents but sneaked back into the valley have been killed in anti-terror operations, with officials raising concerns that the ISI has adopted a new modus operandi to paint the militancy here as an indigenous movement.

Since 2015, a large number of youngsters procured travel documents to visit Pakistan to pursue higher studies, meet relatives or for marriage purposes, officials said.

University Grants Commission and the All Indian Council for Technical Education, the higher and technical education regulators of the country, had issued a statement, advising students not to travel to Pakistan for pursuing higher education.

“Any Indian national/Overseas Citizen of India who intends to take admission in any degree college/educational institution of Pakistan shall not be eligible for seeking employment or higher studies in India on the basis of such educational qualifications (in any subject) acquired in Pakistan,” the UGC and the AICTE had said in a joint statement.

The reason, the officials said, was that these youths were brainwashed across the border and some of them were imparted with arms training or used for money laundering.

The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir Police has filed a charge sheet against a Hurriyat leader and others for selling MBBS seats in Pakistani colleges and using the proceeds for terror activities.

Hundreds of students from Jammu and Kashmir have travelled to Pakistan in recent years for higher studies and a few of them were brainwashed, provided arms training or recruited in sleeper cells with a motive to gather information to be shared with the handlers sitting across the border, the officials said. Separatist lobby would arrange recommendation letters from Hurriyat leaders and other valid travel documents from the Pakistan Embassy to facilitate their visit to Pakistan for admission.