Saturday, February 05, 2005

INDIA: Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) 05 FEB [4 NEWS CLIPPINGS]

HEADLINES IN CLIPPINGS

01. IB wants to enter RAW turf now
02. Ghulam Azam blames RAW for attacks
03. 'Intelligence agencies misused by political bosses':
04. NSAB to send its recommendations to PMO and four Ministries
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05/02/2005


01. IB wants to enter RAW turf now
BISHESHWAR MISHRA

NEW DELHI: In what can start a turf war between two premier intelligence agencies, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan is planning to act on a proposal to enlarge the area of operation of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to neighbouring countries.

Traditionally, this has been the province of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The proposal was mooted by none other than former IB chief K P Singh and Narayanan — himself a former IB chief — is keen to act on it.

The interest in the matter comes against the backdrop of resentment in RAW over moves to give more power to IB at its expense.

Speaking at a seminar organised recently by an association of retired senior IPS officers, Singh had spelt out the reasons for IB to be given an expanded turf.

The agency, he said, is in the forefront of dealing with intelligence against terrorism in the border states, like Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

Most terrorist outfits operate from across the border and the IB had to depend on inputs from either the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) or the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

This, Singh said, impeded the agency's output. In case the IB can't be given an enlarged area of operation, then it should be merged with RAW, Singh suggested.

The speed with which intelligence is acquired before any operation, he said matters a lot.

Such a proposal will obviously not go down well with RAW, which deals with external intelligence. That IB and RAW have been at loggerheads for years is well known in the intelligence community.

Of late the IB has acquired a vantage position due to the mess in RAW following the defection of joint secretary Rabinder Singh to the US in May 2004.

The former RAW officer is believed to have been passing on sensitive information to the CIA for a quite a while.

However, K P Singh's argument makes sense in the context of international terrorism.

The division between external and internal intelligence did not help in dealing with terrorism as the terrorists were "merrily" criss-crossing borders of states and nations.

Experts point out that given the situation, it would make sense to either enlarge the area of IB's operation or merge the two organisations (IB and RAW) into one. However they also add that "it is easier said than done."

05/02/2005

02. Ghulam Azam blames RAW for attacks

Ghulam Azam, former ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, yesterday blamed Indian secret service Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for the grenade attacks on main opposition Awami League (AL) rallies in Dhaka and Habiganj.

He also said that the Indian government refused to join the 13th Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit to gratify the wishes of AL and its chief Sheikh Hasina.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a discussion on 28th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh at Paltan Community Centre in the city.

The government does not make public the report of the probe committee on the August 21 grenade attacks in Dhaka for fear of India, he observed.

"A few days ago, I told some ministers of the ruling BNP that it is in the interest of the four-party alliance that the government should reveal immediately the conspiracy and offence committed by RAW," Ghulam Azam said.

He urged the ICS activists to rear more Islamic soldiers in the country and resist the RAW to safeguard the Islamic ideology in the country.

"India can never be a friend of Bangladesh as it always conspires against Bangladesh to dominate in every aspect and members of RAW are hatching up plots to stall the development of our country," Ghulam Azam said.

Criticising AL, he said that Sheikh Hasina is desperate go to power with the help of the Indian government.

Expressing satisfaction with the activities of the ICS he said that the relations between Jamaat and ICS are like those between a father and a son.

Rafiqul Islam, president of the Dhaka Metropolitan unit Jamaat-e-Islami, said that ICS could play a vital role in developing new leadership based on Islamic ideology.

Shahidul Islam Masud, general secretary of the ICS, said "Our next goal is to capture all the educational institutes including Dhaka University in the capital. The authorities and teachers of these institutions have already assured us of their support."

Later ICS brought out a procession from the Baitul Mukarram protesting the postponement of the Saarc summit.


04/02/2005

03. 'Intelligence agencies misused by political bosses':

New Delhi, Feb 4 : India's intelligence agencies are routinely used by the political party in power to settle scores, a retired senior official of the Intelligence Bureau alleged here Friday.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) intervene in political matters. This is not a desirable practice in a democratic country, Moloy Krishna Dhar, a former joint director, said.

His close interaction with the people at the helm of affairs gave him a ringside view of the goings on at the top level and Dhar has written a hard-hitting book on the functioning of the agency.

His book, "Open Secrets: India's Intelligence Unveiled", released here by former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, points out the government's mishandling of the 1999 Kargil incursions by Pakistan that led to a brief war between the two countries, the 1993 terror blasts in Mumbai and an espionage scandal that hit the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

"Kargil was an intelligence failure. It was a shameful chapter for India," Dhar, who had filed a lawsuit to bring out the "truth" behind the Kargil conflict, said.

On what inspired him to pen down his experiences, Dhar said the suppression of facts by the government in several cases and political interference in the agency's functioning had prompted him to come out with startling revelations.

The government tried to suppress the ISRO spy scandal, Dhar charged. Dhar was the IB's pointman for the case but says he was unwilling to give his case papers to the CBI, only to be overruled by the then

"Intelligence agencies play a vital role in any country's national security and to make the country secure, it is necessary that these agencies be held accountable," Dhar said.

Asked why he did not stand up to his political bosses, he said: "If I have to earn my bread through government services then ultimately I have to obey them."

The interesting aspect of his book is that he does not shy away from naming colleagues, former prime ministers and ministers who ordered him to carry out operations he was involved in.

Dhar began the book in 1999 after the Kargil conflict and finished it last year.

He has written about the involvement of former president Zail Singh and Buta Singh, former home minister and presently governor of Bihar, in fomenting civil unrest in Punjab, the tapping of the prime minister's phone by the IB during V.P. Singh's tenure, smuggling of arms into the Golden Temple, dismissal of the Manipur government and "purchasing" of politicians.

During his career spanning almost three decades, Dhar served in the

country's trouble spots from Punjab to Kashmir to Manipur and Nagaland.

Lauding his effort, Abdullah said the country's political system had come to such a stage that it was "essential to make tools of administration responsible to the combined wisdom of the people".

04/02/2005

04. NSAB to send its recommendations to PMO and four Ministries

New Delhi, Feb 4 (UNI) Endorsing the views of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to use the recommendations of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), the apex body to advice the PM on security matters, in a holistic and comprehensive manner, the two-day meeting of the Board concluded here today.

It was the first meeting of the Board after Mr M K Narayanan took over as the National Security Advisor following the sudden death of J N Dixit.

Mr Narayanan, who chaired the meeting on the opening day conveyed in no uncertain terms, the views of the Prime Minister that NSAB should send all relevant recommendations of the body to the Prime Minister, the National Security Adviser and four other top Cabinet ministers -- for External Affairs, Finance, Defence and Home.

Going by the statute, this ought to have been the practice always but was not followed, highly placed sources told UNI.

Earlier, Mr Narayanan had emphasised upon an integrated and coordinated approach involving the Prime Minister's Office, NSAB and Strategy rpt Strategy Policy Group to be serviced by NSA council secretariat.

The meeting underlined the urgency to look at the question of composite dialogue with Pakistan, systemic breakdown in neighbouring countries, especially Nepal and Bangladesh, and a fresh perspective on the role of intelligence agencies like RAW and IB.

Besides discussing two major issues of refugee and illegal migrants and country's economic security, the developments in Nepal in the country's secuirty perspective were discussed at length, sources said.

The two-day NSAB meeting also emphasised on the inter-linkage of internal and external security, and pointed out that major intiatives in this regard were under the consideration of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Security.

This, Singh said, impeded the agency's output. In case the IB can't be given an enlarged area of operation, then it should be merged with RAW, Singh suggested.

The speed with which intelligence is acquired before any operation, he said matters a lot.

Such a proposal will obviously not go down well with RAW, which deals with external intelligence. That IB and RAW have been at loggerheads for years is well known in the intelligence community.

Of late the IB has acquired a vantage position due to the mess in RAW following the defection of joint secretary Rabinder Singh to the US in May 2004.

The former RAW officer is believed to have been passing on sensitive information to the CIA for a quite a while.

However, K P Singh's argument makes sense in the context of international terrorism.

The division between external and internal intelligence did not help in dealing with terrorism as the terrorists were "merrily" criss-crossing borders of states and nations.

Experts point out that given the situation, it would make sense to either enlarge the area of IB's operation or merge the two organisations (IB and RAW) into one. However they also add that "it is easier said than done."