Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 12
A forthcoming book, “Spy Stories: Inside the Secret World of the RAW and ISI“, by two American authors has detailed their active involvement in a back channel connection between India’s top security managers and their Pakistani counterparts.
Highly respected Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, who have written well received books on the region, made startling claims on Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Pulwama and Pathankot attacks, Burhan Wani and the Mumbai attacks.
On Jadhav, for which the primary source is a middle-level ISI officer gone rogue, the authors write that he was not an Indian intelligence officer but after basing himself in Iran, he was outraged by the Mumbai attacks and had offered his services to the intelligence services. The Pakistanis had spotted him meeting RAW men and had baited him by using a Baloch strongman with connections in Iran.
The authors claim that the ISI had got them to tell NSA Ajit Doval that it was not involved in the Pulwama attacks. It was the handiwork of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which had planned it in Afghanistan and was intended to start a regional war. But Doval and Deputy NSA Rajinder Khanna disbelieved the Pakistani messages and India decided to carry out the Balakot air strikes to “humiliate the Pakistan military”.
They were told by a former RAW officer that the Pathankot airbase attack by four JeM terrorists was facilitated by “corrupt local police officers” but the NIA charge-sheet has no mention of that.
Burhan Wani’s whereabouts were known to the security forces but they did not deliberately kill him for a long time as they used him as `flypaper’ to trap other militants, they claim.
The book also dwells on the 1999 Indian Airlines’ flight IC-814 hijack, which Doval says was a “diplomatic failure”.
The authors have quoted from interviews by Doval, Khanna, former Defence Intelligence chief Lt Gen Vinod Khandare and former IB chief Asif Ibrahim. They have also claimed that Saudi Arabia has played the role of mediator between India and Pakistan.