Tuesday, April 27, 2010



Madhuri Gupta, Second Secretary in the Press and Information Wing of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, who is alleged to be a mole of the Pakistani intelligence, was called to New Delhi ostensibly for consultations by the Ministry of External Affairs. When she reached Delhi on April 23, she was reportedly taken into custody by the Delhi Police. After a preliminary interrogation by a joint team of the Delhi Police, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), she was produced before a magistrate for obtaining her continued police custody to enable the interrogation to continue.

2. At this stage the media seems to have come to know of her detention and interrogation. There has been a welter of confusing and contradictory reports in the media---- much of it, in my view, based on leaks from the Ministry of Home Affairs on the eve of the SAARC summit starting at Thimpu, Bhutan, on April 29. It has been suspected for some time by well-informed observers that the MHA does not subscribe to the reported interest of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the resumption of a composite dialogue with Pakistan. Details of the case, as they emerge, will strengthen the MHA’s feelings about the futility of a composite dialogue with Pakistan at present till Pakistan gives up its hostile attitude to India..

3. The Prime Minister himself is unlikely to allow this case--- despite its being a serious embarrassment---- to influence his decision whether the time is ripe for a resumption of the composite dialogue. His decision will be influenced by Pakistan’s stand on the question of anti-India terrorism from Pakistani territory and not by Pakistani intelligence agencies recruiting Indian agents. They have been doing so since 1947. So have we. Intelligence agencies are meant to collect intelligence. Human intelligence demands recruitment of agents.

4. While we should be worried over this second instance of the penetration of the Indian High Commission---the first one at a more senior and sensitive level was in the 1980s--- there is no need to over-dramatise it and indulge in chest-beating about our alleged incompetence to prevent it. What is required is not one more scene in the never-ending Indo-Pakistan drama, but a clinical analysis of the case to understand how she was recruited, by whom, how she was operated, what made her work for the Pakistani intelligence etc.

5. The clinical analysis should have three main objectives: Firstly, to identify weaknesses in our counter-intelligence set-up which enabled the Pakistani intelligence to recruit and operate her; secondly, an assessment of the damage caused by her; and thirdly, an understanding of how the Pakistani intelligence works now.

6.The picture is far from clear regarding the history of her alleged relationship with the Pakistani intelligence and the damage caused by her. In the welter of speculative reports appearing in the media, what attracted my attention was a piece of information----as yet unverified--- that she was actually recruited not by the Inter-Services Intelligence, our usual bete noire, but by Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau (IB),

7. If this ultimately proves to be correct, this would indicate that the Pakistani IB is once again playing an active role in intelligence-collection operations relating to India and India’s role in Afghanistan. It used to be very active against India till 1971. After 1971 and particularly under Zia-ul-Haq, the role of the IB was gradually diluted and the ISI was given the leadership role in India-centric operations---whether for intelligence collection or for the sponsorship of terrorism or for other covert actions. The IB was gradually militarised by inducting an increasing number of serving and retired military officers into it. This militarization gathered momentum under Pervez Musharraf. For all practical purposes, the IB became an appendage of the ISI.

8. When she was Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto had tried to restore the police character of the IB and give it a more active and independent role in the intelligence community of Pakistan. Her efforts were got scuttled by the ISI. Since taking over as the President in September 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari has been trying to restore the pre-1971 position of the IB as the principal internal intelligence and security agency of Pakistan. He has placed it under his confidante Rehman Malik, who is the Interior Minister. Rehman Malik, who himself is a retired Police officer from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), has diluted the presence of serving and retired Army officers in the IB and restored the pre-eminence of Police officers in the organization once again. After being headed by military officers continuously since 1990 except for a short period between September 1997 and August 1998, it is headed again by senior police officers since August 2008. The present Director-General of the IB Javed Noor used to be the Inspector-General of Police of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir when he was appointed to head the IB in May,2009.

9. The US has also been encouraging the demilitarization of the IB and the process of the restoration of civilian pre-eminence in the internal intelligence and security set-up of Pakistan. It has increased the allocation of funds for the IB and has been helping it in other ways too for making it once again a professional intelligence organization run by civilians as it used to be.The US sees in the strengthening of the IB one way of reducing the negative role of the ISI in Pakistan.

10. In our preoccupation with the ISI, we have not been paying adequate attention to the rejuvenation of the Pakistani IB. If the reports that Madhuri Gupta was recruited and handled by the IB are correct, it underlines the importance of our paying more attention to the IB.

11. Annexed is an article on the IB written by me on May 26,2009. ( 29-4-2010)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )



PAKISTAN: SPY VS SPY ( http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers33%5Cpaper3213.html)

By B. Raman

In our preoccupation with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), we have not been paying the required attention to the goings-on in Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau (IB), which comes under the Ministry of the Interior. It is the counterpart of our IB and is of the same pedigree. Even today, the IBs of the two countries maintain some of the traditions, nomenclatures for officers and subordinate units and methods of functioning which they had inherited from the British in 1947.

2. The founding fathers of independent India made the IB the first among equals in India's internal security and counter-intelligence set-up. It has retained and even strengthened that position. It continues to be an organisation largely staffed and led by police officers taken on deputation or permanent secondment from the Indian Police Service cadres of different States of the Indian Union, but the number of direct recruits has been increasing. The IB acts as the eyes and ears of the Government of India in all matters that could have a bearing on internal security. As the leading counter-intelligence agency of India, it plays the leadership role in countering the activities of the ISI in Indian territory and against Indian interests in India and abroad.

3. As against this primacy of the Indian IB and its significant role, the Pakistani IB saw over the years its role in the internal security management and in counter-intelligence gradually eroded, with the ISI assuming the responsibility for internal security tasks. The ISI assumed the leadership in internal security matters initially in the then East Pakistan because of the Army's suspicion of the loyalty of the Bengali police officers and then in Balochistan, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province for similar reasons. Whereas the police officers from different States in the Indian IB enjoyed the total confidence and trust of the Government of India, in the Pakistani IB, only the Punjabi police officers enjoyed some trust and confidence. The remaining police officers of non-Punjabi origin were looked upon with suspicion.

4. The marginalisation of the Pakistani IB by the ISI in matters relating to internal security was followed by the beginning of a process of militarisation of the IB----with the induction of serving and retired military officers into the IB. This process started under Zia-ul-Haq. When Benazir Bhutto became the Prime Minister in 1988, she sought to reverse the process. She appointed Maj-Gen. Shamshur Rehman Kallu, a retired officer who was close to her father, as the DG of the ISI much to the discomfort and unhappiness of the serving army officers. On her orders, Kallu also prepared a scheme for the re-organisation of the intelligence community. One of the key points in this scheme was the demilitarisation of the IB and restoring its police character and its role as the premier internal security agency of the country. Before the scheme could be implemented, she was dismissed by the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in August 1990.

5. Nawaz Sharif, who succeeded her as the Prime Minister after the ISI-rigged elections held later that year, carried out the wishes of the army and threw aside the scheme drawn up by Kallue. He once again started inducting retired and serving officers of the Army into the IB. When Benazir returned to power in 1993, she once again took up the scheme for the re-organisation of the IB and strengthening its role in internal security management. She ordered a vast expansion of the strength of the IB, emulated the Indian model of having a directly-recruited civilian cadre in addition to the police officers and ordered the direct recruitment of a large number of civilian officers.

6. When Farooq Leghari, the then President, dismissed her in 1996, he stopped the expansion ordered by her and ordered that those recruited by her should not be given appointment in the IB. Those who had already joined were sacked. Nawaz Sharif, who returned as the Prime Minister after the elections, did not reverse the orders of Leghari and went along with the wishes of the Army to let the ISI retain its primacy in internal security and counter-intelligence matters. The militarisation of the IB picked up momentum under Pervez Musharraf and reached its nadir when he appointed Brig.Ijaz Shah, a highly controversial retired officer with strongly suspected links to the jihadi terrorist organisations, as the Director-General of the IB.

7. Since the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition Government came to office in March 2008, there have been indications that Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded Pervez Musharraf as the President in September, 2008, wants to implement once again the ideas of Benazir for the re-organisation of the IB and strengthening its role in internal security. He appointed Rehman Malik, a retired police officer, who had served under Benazir in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) during her second tenure as the Prime Minister, as the Adviser for Internal Security with the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He now co-ordinates all internal security matters and the IB works under him.

8. Zardari also restored the practice of a senior police officer heading the IB and reportedly wanted that all those directly-recruited to the IB during Benazir's second tenure, but kept out by Leghari and Sharif should be re-appointed. Well-informed PPP sources say that Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani, who does not feel comfortable with Rehman Malik and who has the backing of the ISI, has been dragging his feet in the implementation of the orders of Zardari to re-appoint all the direct recruits to the IB, who were sacked or kept out by Leghari or Sharif.

9. These sources say that the differences between Zardari and Malik on the one side and Gilani and the ISI on the other regarding the relative roles of the IB and the ISI are also coming in the way of a proper investigation into the role of the five detained activists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in the conspiracy to carry out the terrorist attack in Mumbai from November 26 to 29, 2008. According to these sources, while Zardari and Malik are in favour of a more energetic investigation and prosecution to please the US, Gilani and the ISI have been opposing such an investigation.

10. Despite the difficulties faced by him in strengthening the IB and its role in internal security management, Zardari and Malik have been persisting with their efforts. Zardari gives a high-profile role to Malik in all matters relating to internal security. Malik and the Director-General of the IB accompany Zardari on his foreign tours. These sources say that Shoaib Suddle, the then Director-General of the IB, had accompanied Zardari on his recent visits to the US and West Europe and earlier to China. Zardari has also been encouraging the IB to set up its own network of liaison relationships with foreign intelligence agencies. Malik and the IB are being given a more active role in the counter-Taliban operations.

11. These sources say that the ISI, with the backing of Gilani, has not given up its efforts to oppose any leadership role for the IB in internal security matters. It is in this connection that one notes with interest the decision taken by Gilani on May 16, 2009, to appoint Javed Noor, the Inspector-General of Police of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, as the DG of the IB in replacement of Suddle, who was close to Zardari. Suddle, who belonged to the Sindh cadre of the Pakistani Police Service, was the DIG of Police of Karachi in September, 1996, when Murtaza Ali Bhutto, the younger brother of Benazir, who was challenging the role of Zardari in the PPP, was allegedly killed by the police following an altercation with them. Suddle is one of the accused in the case filed in this connection.

12. Despite this, Zardari had him appointed as the DG of the IB in June, 2008. He was given an extension of two years after he reached the age of superannuation. In April last, a judge of the Supreme Court set aside the extension given to him and other police officers facing trial in connection with the murder of Murtaza. Despite this, he was taken to the US and West Europe by Zardari along with the DG of the ISI. Shortly after his return from the tour, Gilani had him replaced as the DGIB on the ground that his continuing to hold this office had become untenable because of the Supreme Court judgement. It is not known whether Javed Noor is a nominee of Zardari or Gilani or the ISI. The removal shows that the ISI continues to be opposed to any attempt to give the IB the primacy in internal security matters.


A mole in an Indian mission can do great damage

( http://news.rediff.com/column/2010/apr/27/a-mole-in-an-indian-mission-can-do-great-damage.htm )

April 27, 2010 16:26 IST

Madhuri Gupta, the indian diplomat arrested for spying in the Indian mission in Islamabad [ Images ], may not have access to sensitive information, but she has access to the high commission and could have planted transmitting devices and tapped phones, writes B Raman.

Madhuri Gupta, second secretary in the press and information wing of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, has been arrested on a charge of working for a foreign intelligence agency. She was called to New Delhi [ Images ] ostensibly on consultation duty in connection with the SAARC summit opening in Thimphu on April 29 and taken into custody after her arrival.

Apparently, she was not aware that she was under suspicion. If she was, she might not have come to New Delhi. Instead, she might have fled to some other country to escape arrest and interrogation as Major Rabinder Singh, an alleged mole of the Research & Analysis Wing, did in 2004.

It has been reported that Home Secretary G K Pillai, has confirmed her arrest. He has not given any other details. There are two possibilities -- she was either working for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence or for the intelligence agency of a Western country through its intelligence officer working under the cover of a diplomat in Pakistan. I would not rule out the second possibility. Western intelligence agencies, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency, had in the past tried to recruit Indian diplomats posted in Indian missions abroad through blackmail or offer of money or offer of resident status in their country. Madhuri Gupta is reported to be an unmarried woman in her 40s.

The ISI normally uses money or blackmail for recruiting India [ Images ]n diplomats posted in Pakistan. In the 1980s, when Rajiv Gandhi [ Images ] was the prime minister, the ISI had allegedly recruited a senior Indian Armed Forces attache by trapping him with the help of an attractive woman in Karachi and then blackmailing him with her help. He was called back to India under some pretext and removed from the armed forces. He was not prosecuted.

If the allegations against her are correct, Gupta might have been recruited by the agency which was using her either as an information agent or as a service agent. An information agent consciously supplies intelligence to which he or she has access. A service agent facilitates an intelligence operation of the recruiting agency in various ways.

As a Second Secretary in the Press and Information Wing, Gupta might not have had much access to sensitive intelligence. But, as she was working in the high commission, she would have had access to various offices in the Indian High Commission for performing furtive tasks such as planting bugs in the offices of the high commissioner and other diplomats, attaching transmitting devices for transmitting the telephone conversations of the high commissioner and others to the officer who recruited her etc.

If she had been working as a service agent, she would have caused immeasurable damage by enabling the agency that recruited her to collect electronically a lot of sensitive intelligence. It would never be possible to quantify and assess the extent of damage caused by her. She herself would not know since she would be unaware what kind of intelligence had been going on to her controlling officer through the gadgets which she had planted in the Indian High Commission on his direction.

In the 1970s, a British woman had been recruited by the Indian Embassy in Paris to work as a telephone operator. She had helped the MI-6 (the British intelligence service) in clandestinely recording the telephone conversations of all Indian diplomats posted in Paris. She had caused considerable damage before she was detected and sacked.

B Raman