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Home Ministry starts with a bungle on covert outfit

Sat, May 14, 2016, 11:25 AM
The Union Home Ministry has advised the Union Cabinet that to cope with the growing terrorism in the world, there is a need for Indian agencies to plant its men in terrorist outfits to know in advance their plans.

The ministry sought permission for sending its trained men to such outfits as Lashkar-e-Toyyiba and ISIS such that their plans could be known in advance.

Better late than never, the idea is brilliant. But is it democratic to reveal such plans so openly as done by the Home Ministry? When you reveal your plans, then you will be to blame for every terrorist act. Covert operations should be done covertly, not brazenly.

Look at Pakistan, it is always in a denial mode. Why, because it's done by non-state actors who get funds and expertise from the Pakistan Inter-services Intelligence. This is an open secret. But the world regards it as legitimate. The UN Security Council is game with terrorists, as happened recently, when the council reused to declare Maulana Azhar a terrorist.

True, a covert agency is long due, because India is facing increasing threats from terrorists from across the border. But you must have intelligence not to reveal your plans and effectively keep your polity safe.

The Home Ministry wants the National Investigation Agency to take up the job of counter-terrorism. The idea is good, but what are the credentials of the NIA to take it up? It had failed to prevent Pathankot and had to withdraw charges in the latest Sadhvi Pragya episode.

What the Home Ministry should learn is to be discreet, so secretive that nobody other than the Chief Executive would know. The basic thing in the world is nobody wants open wars, but all are at war all the time. So, an ancient civilisation like India should show maturity in regard to intelligence.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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