With the possibility of a second war looming between India and Pakistan, the second Panthic committee consisting of Sikh separatists began to meet at the contrivance of Pakistan’s feared Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. After playing a decisive role in undermining democracy in Pakistan and ousting Benazir Bhutto, ISI again established links with Sikh insurgents seeking to create an independent homeland for themselves in India called Khalistan. To achieve this goal, the Sikh movement would launch terrorist attacks against India with the full support of Pakistan’s intelligence service.

Learning of this the Prime Minister of India dispatched an officer of the Intelligence Bureau, India’s internal intelligence service. Maloy Krishna Dhar was a senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer by this time, his mission made clear by the Prime Minister’s office: “it involved cleverly planned intelligence operations to drive wedges between the feuding terrorist leaders and groups” (Dhar, 384). The groups belonging to the second Panthic Committee were not monolithic, a weakness that Dhar intended to take advantage of.

Utilizing war material and training diverted or left over from the CIA’s anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, the ISI funneled weapons to the Sikh rebels and taught them how to construct Improvised Explosive Devices. Operations against Sikh separatists like Blue Star and Black Thunder had helped to unite the groups against the Indian government, something Pakistan took full advantage of so it was only natural that the ISI would attempt to sabotage the government’s peace talks with the Panthic Committee in 1990.

Using a Sikh journalist as a cut out, Dhar approached two important leaders in the Panthic Committee who belonged to a group called the Babbar Khalsa. Dhar recalls of the experience that, “a bridgehead was established after a sizable goodwill amount was passed on to a cut out,” (Dhar, 387). A woman serving in India’s parliament also helped make for Dhar’s soft landing as he established unofficial back channel communications with the Panthic Committee.