M A I N   N E W S

ISI trying to subvert forces, says Pranab
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 23
The government said today that it was concerned over espionage by defence personnel and that internal investigations were on to unravel the full ramifications of the spying network within the armed forces.

“It is a matter of concern that the ISI is trying to infiltrate and subvert our armed forces. We are now hunting down the moles,” Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his first comments on the busting of two spying networks in the Army over the past two days.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the espionage networks may be inter-connected and it was found to be spread from terrorist-hit Jammu and Kashmir to New Delhi to Kathmandu, the minister said on the sidelines of the Coast Guards function here.

“The espionage rings might have started from Kashmir. Our military as well as civilian intelligence outfits and investigating agencies have been pressed into action to bust the rings and to find their kingpins,” the minister said.

The Defence Minister said while police investigations into the espionage cases would continue court martial proceedings had been instituted against the two army men — havildar clerk Ritesh Kumar from the Army’s 14th Corp based at Leh and signalman Anil Kumar Dubey posted at Army Insurance Scheme headquarters here.

Asked if the arrest of the two men had focused on the need to improve the security systems of the armed forces, Mr Mukherjee said, “Whenever some suspicious activity is noticed, the concerned people are placed under surveillance and that is how we nabbed these two men”.

He said intelligence networks in all the three services had been active as there had been inputs of Pakistan’s ISI trying to ‘infiltrate the services as also make some of the personnel corrupt”.

“Sometimes we catch moles. But this time “the exercises are aimed at nailing the kingpins”, the minister said after addressing a Coast Guards’ Commanders annual conference here, where methods and moves to deal with attempts to smuggle arms and other lethal arsenal were discussed threadbare.

According to PTI, Mr Mukherjee said that the reshuffling of portfolios in the Union Cabinet was the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

Asked if he would be shifted to head the External Affairs Ministry, he said, “It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister”.

He said the External Affairs portfolio was not new to him as he had earlier headed that ministry.


CIA team meets Menon, top officials
ISI’s involvement in Mumbai blasts,
resurgence of Taliban discussed
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 23
A team of senior CIA officials today met top Indian intelligence officials and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon and discussed terrorism and counter-terrorism related issues in India and the resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan.

This correspondent understands that the Indian officials shared with the visiting CIA delegation the “solid evidence” New Delhi has garnered in support of its contention that the July 11 serial train blasts in Mumbai were carried out by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The delegation includes the Central Intelligence Agency’s Deputy Director Carmen Medina and Nancy Powel, officer-in-charge of South Asia in the National Intelligence Council.

The Ministry of External Affairs as well as the American embassy here were tightlipped on the CIA delegation’s talks with Indian officials.

It is understood that two issues dominated the talks: ISI’s involvement in July 11 Mumbai blasts, from the Indian perspective; and the resurgence of Taliban from the American point of view as the development has huge strategic and security implications.

On the former, the Indian side made it clear that it will present the evidence to the Pakistani side when the two countries’ Foreign Secretaries meet here for formal talks on November 14-15.

National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has already gone on record saying that New Delhi will call off the controversial joint mechanism to deal with the menace if Islamabad persistently refused to cooperate in terror cases, including the July 11 Mumbai blasts.

Mr Narayanan, while talking to CNN-IBN TV, has expressed the hope that the ISI would be involved in the joint mechanism,

“If every time we give them information, we get a negative answer then we know the mechanism is not working and we have to see what we do. But the first thing we want to do is to put Pakistan on guard, on the spot, by saying this is the evidence, this is the information (and) come back to us with what you will do.”



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