Sajad Ahmad Bazaz arrest: How he maintained a pro-India image to fulfil ISI, PFI agenda

Sajad Ahmad Bazaz arrest: How he maintained a pro-India image to fulfil ISI, PFI agenda


On 20th August, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank sacked its chief manager Sajad Ahmad Bazaz following an investigation by the Jammu and Kashmir Crime Investigation Department (CID), which found that Bazaz was a deep asset of Pakistan’s ISI. It was found that Sajad Ahmad was planted in the J&K Bank to propagate the agenda of the terrorist-separatist networks through articles in a leading regional daily at the behest of the ISI.

In the order issued by the bank’s managing director, it was said, “Whereas the undersigned is satisfied under Rule/Provision 12.29 in OSM that in the interest of the security of the state, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Sajad Ahmad Bazaz, Chief Manager, Code no. 4484. Accordingly, I hereby dismiss Mr Sajad Ahmad Bazaz, Chief Manager, Code no. 4484 from service, with immediate effect.”

While being an employee of the bank, Sajad illegally worked as correspondent-cum-columnist for Greater Kashmir.

Questionable rise of Sajad in the bank

It was revealed during the investigation that the eligibility requirements for the post on which Sajad was posted were tailored for him. Moreover, Bazaz was given three promotions despite not having cleared the Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB) exam to date. The requirement for a written test was also dropped.

During the investigations, it was reportedly found that eligibility prerequisites of the post were tailored to bring Bazaz in as applications were invited from the cadre of cashier-cum-clerks to apply for the newly created post of editor. Moreover, Bazaz was given three promotions despite not having cleared the Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB) exam to date.

Sajad funded local newspapers using the bank money

Using his position in the bank, Sajad funded specific local newspapers and magazines through advertisements from the banks’ advertising funds. It was found Greater Kashmir received disproportionately high and favourable advertisement allotments than other news outlets between the years 2015 to 2023. The sudden rise of pro-Pakistan newspapers and magazines in the valley has been linked to instructions given to him by Pakistani agencies to assist in setting up media platforms to amplify the Pakistani and Jihadi narrative in an even more vitriolic manner.

Links to terrorists

Sajad was found to be operating around 68 bank accounts in the bank. He was in touch with Shabir Hussain Buch, a known aide of Mushtaq Latram, chief of the Al-Umar Islamic terror outfit, and a close associate of terrorist Masood Azhar, the Jaish e Muhammad chief.

Sajad’s articles revolved around economics, actually praising India and PM

Interestingly, when OpIndia checked his recent articles on Greater Kashmir, we noticed a pattern that he was writing a lot of pro-India articles. For example, in the most recent article titled ‘Strong at 77’, Sajad praised the central government for bringing a “cheerful atmosphere” on the occasion of Independence Day in Kashmir.

“The celebration of the Independence Day on a large scale in every nook and corner of the Jammu and Kashmir region is a testimony that widespread fear among populations across the region stands neutralized. And nobody can deny the credit of this irreversible change for betterment to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, whose accountability, transparency and merit (ATM) – driven governance is doing wonders in not only pulling Kashmir out of the turmoil successfully but simultaneously rebuilding it on modern lines as the undisputed crown of the country. Today, Kashmir is fast re-emerging as a region with tolerant traditions and pluralistic democracy,” he wrote.

“Notably, as per the World Bank’s Economic Outlook, the US is expected to grow at 1.4 per cent in 2024, while Germany at 1.1 per cent and Japan at 1 per cent. Conversely, India is projected to grow at 6.3 per cent in 2024, while China is to grow at 4.5 per cent… Remarkably, PM Narendra Modi, in his 10th  Independence Day address, said that the country is on the cusp of a unique opportunity in which it can transform itself by 2047 as a developed nation,” he added.

In a detailed article on GST, he wrote, “Remarkably, since its inception, the Council in the context of rate rationalization has reduced the number of items (goods & services) under 28% GST slab from 226 to 37 items till now. The rate rationalization has become a focal point of the general consumers, and any change in percentage of rates directly impacts their spending.”

He added, “For the government, the GST Council is doing a wonderful job as it paves the way for a smooth and consistent flow of revenue to the government with minimum possible leakage.”

Praising GoI’s efforts for improving road connectivity, he wrote, “Meanwhile, in the last couple of years, Jammu & Kashmir is witnessing concerted efforts on the economic front to bring vibrancy in the economic landscape of the region. This time the focus has rightly been on the development of roads and tunnels.”

“The Government of India has given a big push to road infrastructure, and as disclosed by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the Centre is spending Rs 1 lakh crore to build highways and tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir.”

He added, “Just a few days back, LG Sinha and Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, reviewed the progress of the Z-Morh tunnel and Zojila tunnel projects. Notably, Z-Morh Tunnel, as per the tunnel authorities, would be completed by October 2023, after which Sonamarg would remain open throughout the year. The completion of these tunnels would be a shot in the arm of the local economy.”

In a geographically remote location like J&K, the road infrastructure assumes greater significance, and if we look at the past, the region has always been craving for good road connectivity,” he said.

It is evident that he kept his image clean and mostly praised the government directly or indirectly in his columns for Greater Kashmir.

Aliases unknown

On the contrary, as mentioned in the reports of his dismissal from the bank, it was mentioned he used aliases to propagate lies in his articles. It is unclear which media outlets he used to write and what kind of content he propagated via those portals. He now clearly used the bank’s money to fund propaganda media portals. If he used his skills in writing to help those portals to get good content, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he used his pen to create unrest in the valley by spreading ISI propaganda.

Sajad gameplan and PFI’s 2047 document

In July 2022, Bihar Police made shocking revelations about an 8-page now-banned Islamic terror outfit PFI document that talked about teaching a lesson to India’s “coward Hindus”. The 8-page PFI document underlined the PFI goal for the years ahead. In the document named ‘India Vision 2047’, PFI has circulated internally among its cadre that they aim to dominate the ‘coward Hindus’ and subjugate them completely and this goal will be achievable even with 10% of Muslims rallying behind PFI.

In stage 2 of the plan, the now-banned Islamic terror outfit PFI openly called for violence against Hindus. It was mentioned how they could use concepts such as judiciary infiltration, National Flag, Constitution, Ambedkar and more to safeguard themselves from the eyes of the law.

Shockingly, the PFI document says that arms training must be given to their PE cadre under the garb of Yoga classes and the Healthy People Healthy Nation campaign.

If we match the concepts of PFI with what Sajad has been doing in his articles, it is clear that by keeping his image clean, he was building trust among the readers and people of Kashmir. The alleged aim was to get into local circles and peddle his propaganda using aliases. Gaining access to circles of nationalists through his writing would help him gather more information that he could pass on to ISI.

ISI’s long-running agenda fuels by “pro-India” looking stooges

In March 2017, an article on OpIndia explained how ISI had started a war against India. In a parliamentary report in Pakistan, it was claimed that India invoked gross human rights violations in Balochistan. So Pakistan wants India to refrain from talking about Balochistan. Coincidentally, the same “suggestion” was given to Modi by many. Starting from opposition members like Salman Khurshid and many journalists who turned into foreign affairs experts in a matter of minutes.

Interestingly, media and oppositions support elements like Umar Khalid and his entourage screaming “Aazadi” slogans directly help Pakistan in building its narrative of “Kashmir’s right to self-determination”.

What better way to achieve it than by actually appearing to be pro-India, writing for a portal like Greater Kashmir, to gain access to circles from where he needs to gather info? This is exactly what Sajad had been doing. Once he gains entry, it would be easy for him to get info on Hindu-Muslim faultlines, the Kashmir narrative, etc., to pass it on to ISI. Now that his long-running propaganda is busted looking for other moles like Sajad in the valley is essential.


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