Rivalry between intelligence
agencies is costing India lives
By Sahil Makkar
Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) India is paying a heavy price for differences
among its intelligence agencies as they rarely exchange inputs
among themselves, say insiders.
the Mumbai terror attack was a tragic outcome of this lack
country has three main intelligence agencies - the Intelligence
Bureau (IB) for collection of internal and counter intelligence,
the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for external intelligence,
and Military Intelligence (MI) that collects military-related
between the three major intelligence agencies, RAW, IB and
MI, has done a lot of damage not only to the agencies but
also to the nation. The reluctance to share intelligence is
the bane of all agencies, at least in India," Major General
(retd) V.K. Singh, who has retired from RAW and has seen the
intelligence agencies from close quarters, told IANS.
proclivity to take the credit has given rise to the unpardonable
trend in every agency of keeping vital intelligence close
to its chest until it is disclosed to someone important enough
in the political hierarchy, sometimes even the prime minister,"
in his book, "India's External Intelligence - Secrets
of Research and Analysis Wing", noted that rivalry between
IB and RAW was perhaps unavoidable in view of their past history
Indian recruited by a foreign militant group is definitely
the concern of the IB. When he is taken across the border
for training he becomes the interest of RAW. When he re-enters
India and carries out strikes against the military installations
in Jammu and Kashmir, it becomes the worry of MI.
he be handed over from one agency to the other every time
he crosses a border, or should all keep a watch on him together?
Should the army and IB be allowed to monitor trans-border
radio and satellite links, which strictly fall within the
purview of RAW?
are the questions that have no clear answers and only add
to the blame game between the intelligence agencies,"
to former IB joint director Maloy Krishna Dhar, RAW's reluctance
to share information with the IB is legendary. There have
also been instances where personality clashes have deterred
effective coordination between the national security advisor
(NSA) and RAW chiefs.
Mitra, former director general of the Border Security Force
(BSF), said: "Not sharing intelligence information is
a problem between all the agencies."
is no justification for holding critical information and not
sharing the critical information with other agencies or security
establishments. The nation is paying a price for it. If we
want to thwart terror attacks, we must pull up our socks and
bring the guilty officers to book," Mitra told IANS.
the Nov 26 terror attack on Mumbai that lasted 60 hours and
in which 172 people were killed, the three agencies took potshots
at each other.
and IB claimed they had given information specifying the places
and the time when the terrorists could strike. But the state
government and the navy denied any actionable inputs. The
cabinet secretary is now looking into the matter.
to government sources, the Joint Committee of Intelligence
(JIC), which analyses intelligence data from the IB, RAW and
the directorates of military, naval and air intelligence and
works under the National Security Council, has failed to live
up to expectations.
is almost defunct and the chiefs of intelligence agencies
have very rarely met under the JIC roof in the last two years,"
said a source.
the report of the Kargil Review Committee in his book, Singh
said: "The army never shared its intelligence with the
other agency or JIC".
Makkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)