The Research and Analysis Wing (raw) is the official intelligence agency dealing with external security. During the Janata regime, Morarji Desai brought raw under parliamentary review to ensure that it did not meddle in domestic politics. He thought Indira Gandhi had misused raw for partisan domestic politics.
Last week, a similar charge against raw surfaced in a report by The Indian Express. According to it, Dr J.K. Jain, former MP and member of the bjp national executive, who also owns a TV channel, wrote a letter to the prime minister.
Dr Jain wrote: "A report, which originated from the Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat, has branded me a Pakistani agent and Jain TV as an isi outfit, without the knowledge or approval of the Hon'ble Home Minister. If India's premier intelligence outfits like the Research and Analysis Wing of the Cabinet Secretariat are corrupted and their reports are manipulated, where are we leading the country to?"
The Express claims it has a copy of the letter. When it confronted Dr Jain, he refused to comment. The correspondent, Harish Gupta, subsequently in a signed column quoted home minister Advani saying that the raw report "must have been a slip".
The incident raises awkward questions that must be answered.
Was the Express report correct? If the purported letter does not exist, the paper owes an apology to Dr Jain. If it does exist, the government owes an explanation to the public. The government must state whether or not raw described
Dr Jain as an isi agent.
If raw did make the allegation, does the government stand by it? If it does not, raw officials invite action. If it does, government ministers invite action. How can a known isi agent continue as a member of the ruling party's national executive with access to the nation's most powerful leaders?
Home minister Advani's reported description of the raw report as "a slip" adds insult to injury. Earlier, investigative agencies had seized official secrets from Romesh Sharma, allegedly linked to Dawood Ibrahim. Sharma allegedly passed the papers to a Reliance Industries official. Thereafter, Advani promised Parliament a white paper on the isi. It never came.
Now people wonder: did Advani suppress the white paper because bjp leaders were involved? The public awaits an answer.
To bring terrorists to order
I'm ready to cross the border,
But for the party's reputation
I'll even risk the nation!