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China banking on Pakistan for India intel?

Is there a tie-up between Chinese and Pakistani agencies to share intelligence on India? Shishir Gupta reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2012 07:35 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times

Is there a tie-up between Chinese and Pakistani agencies to share intelligence on India?

There is mounting evidence within the Indian intelligence agencies that suggests that China's ministry of state security (MSS) has outsourced collection of vital intelligence including aspects of Tibetan activity in India from Pakistan's ISI as the latter had better penetration in the sub-continent.

Government sources said intelligence inputs indicated that there was institutionalised tie-up between the two agencies and some five structured meetings at high official level had taken place in the past two years with India figuring in the dialogue. This information has been shared with top officials in the UPA government.

According to available inputs, ISI will also share intelligence on India with their Chinese counterparts as it has known access in restive regions of India including in the north eastern states.

Beijing's key interest is in the Dalai Lama set-up and is closely watching the Indian involvement in the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala. With Bangladesh not allowing NE insurgent groups to target India from its territory and Myanmar making similar noises, insurgents are getting monetary and logistics support from Yunan province in south China.

However, it is the flip-side of this tie-up that is worrying India. A section of the Indian intelligence community feels that ISI could exacerbate tensions with China by exaggerating New Delhi's role in the Tibetan movement. Even though India has little to do with the Tibetan set-up, the perception is that it is the ISI, which has made the MSS suspicious of India's involvement.

After the 2008 Lhasa riots, Beijing has been very sensitive about the Tibet issue. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last week extracted a commitment from Nepal on not allowing any Tibetan activity in the erstwhile kingdom.

First Published: Jan 17, 2012 23:15 IST