Baffled, intelligence officials slam Rahul Gandhi
They are questioning how an intelligence official could brief the vice-president of a political party, who is not bound by the oath of secrecy.
They are questioning how an intelligence official could brief the vice-president of a political party, who is not bound by the oath of secrecy. They also criticized the Gandhi scion for going public with information that should have ideally prompted a secret intelligence operation to identify the youth contacted and neutralize the ISI agents carrying out sabotage and subversion in the hinterland.
“A potential prime minister of the country should have had more sense of national security. ISI is a hostile foreign agency recruiting people in the hinterland for sabotage and subversion. Rahul’s response should have been more robust and decisive. He should have asked the intelligence official to go back to the Muslim boys contacted by ISI, lay a trap for these Pakistani agents and neutralize them,” said former Intelligence Bureau chief Ajit Kumar Doval.
A former home secretary, who did not wish to be identified, agreed that Rahul’s act of going public with the alleged intelligence input had compromised national security and only reflected his “immaturity”.
A serving officer of the intelligence establishment pointed out that the IB official who “briefed” the Congress vice-president had clearly exceeded his brief as an intelligence input could only be shared with a government functionary bound by the oath of secrecy.
Another ex-bureaucrat said the ideal response should have been to round up the youths supposedly contacted by the ISI, question them and launch a manhunt for the ISI agents involved. “Instead, he seems to be using this input to score with the minority community and target his political rivals,” he said.
“Going public with the crucial input, that should have ideally led to a major intelligence operation to neutralize the ISI networks working to recruit more such youth across the country, is a gross act of irresponsibility,” said Doval.
Rahul’s utterances on an IB officer briefing him about how victims of Muzaffarnagar riots were willing to go to Pakistan has created considerable curiosity in the agency itself. A senior intelligence officer told TOI that it may have to be found out which officer had met him and whether it was a casual interaction. “There can be no official briefing to Rahul Gandhi as he is not part of the government or the security establishment,”