CHANDIGARH: Dismissing the belief that Kargil war in 1999 was the result of an intelligence failure, former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat claims that “the vital inputs were sent well in advance to the-then union home minister, Lal Krishna Advani”.
During the Kargil war, Dulat was in the intelligence bureau. Speaking during a panel discussion on ‘the Wisdom of Spies’ at the Military Literature Festival here on Saturday, he said: “We had intelligence about some unusual happenings and the report went up to the union home minister, with inputs from the Army.”
Asked if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was a puppet in the hands of the Pakistan Army, Dulat called for giving Imran more time. “Imran said recently that the 2008 Mumbai attack was an act of terrorism,” he added.
All the panellists—Lieutenant General Kamal Davar (retd), Lt Gen Sanjeev Langar (retd), and former RAW heads K C Verma and Dulatagreed that intelligence inputs had small shelf life and should be acted upon wisely. Lt Gen Langar said: “Daily operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast are based on just 30% intelligence report. Nobody can wait for full intelligence. At the macro level, intelligence gives policy options to the government.”
Lt Gen Davar said until all the three defence forces had a unified intelligence command, intelligence will keep taking a beating. He said: “It was easy to blame every debacle on intelligence, while it is a system failure.” Lt Gen Langar said: “In the Indian system, it will be suicidal to put all intelligence agencies under one person.” It was a veiled reference to “intelligence czar” status of the national security adviser.
The moderator, K C Verma, said it was disheartening for spies to take the blame for every setback. “Taking the right decision on the available intelligence is an art that not many know,” he said. “Intelligence doesn’t prevent wars.”--TOI