Saturday, May 21, 2005

INDIA: Reforms in Intelligence, intelligence in reforms

The key challenge to national security is the possibility of internal de-stabilisation as a result of unrest spreading across India’s unsettled borders. India has soft borders with Nepal and Myanmar. Indian intelligence agencies are worried about the spill over of the Maoist revolution to India. The consolidation of the Maoist groups in India and their linking up through a corridor that stretches from Andhra Pradesh to Nepal is a big internal security challenge. India is engaging Myanmar to militarily attack bases of insurgent outfits operating in the Northeast. Some evidence of that collaboration is already visible with the Myanmarese military launching attacks on bases identified by India. But so far India has failed to cultivate Myanmar as a dependable ally and many north-eastern insurgent groups continue to function from Myanmar. India is also dealing with a volatile border with Bangladesh. All this apart from the fact that unsettled borders with Pakistan is India’s key security concern. The intelligence agencies dealing with issues such as terrorism, infiltration, illegal migration, smuggling of narcotics and weapons have a tremendous task of coordinating their activities. One of the important areas is to ensure that turf wars within agencies do not hamper accurate, reliable and fast flow information to the decision makers.

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