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Former sleuth links ex-CM to ISI

ISI has made deep inroads into media and political structure of India, says an ex-Joint Director of IB in his new book.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 22:22 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

A former Indian spy master on Friday accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of corrupting journalists and even top Indian politicians, including a former Chief Minister.

"We see the ghosts of the CIA and KGB everywhere. The ISI has also made deep inroads into the media and political structure," former Intelligence Bureau Joint Director MK Dhar said at the launch of his new book Fulcrum of Evil: ISI-CIA-Al-Qaeda Nexus (Manas Publications).

Dhar, who worked with India's internal intelligence agency for nearly three decades, however did not name the former Chief Minister whom he accused of working for the ISI.

Despite repeated provocations, he refused to say anything specific and took refuge in the Official Secrets Act that forbids such disclosures.

He only said his book was confined to events before 1995. "It's for you to find out," he said cryptically. "2006 is going to be a year of more upheavals as far as ISI operations are concerned."

Samata Party leader and former Defence Minister George Fernandes launched the book at the Foreign Correspondents Club.

Dhar's first book, Open Secrets: India's Intelligence Unveiled, published last year, created a big splash by raising questions about the propriety of former civil servants divulging government secrets.

"Like the two other major fulcrums of evil - the CIA and KGB - Pakistan has targeted sensitive segments of Indian panorama. This segment contains the most sensitive areas of Indian politics, media and opinion makers," says the book.

"Fulcrum of Evil" seeks to expose the supposed links between the ISI, CIA, Saudi intelligence and various Islamist outfits linked with Al-Qaeda, besides the ISI's evolution as a primary breeder of terror and subversive activities in the region.

Dhar says he has also traced the operations of the ISI inside India and India's "intelligence encirclement" from Nepal and Bangladesh.

Fernandes said: "We have often been casual about national security. We are not able to pre-empt crises. Terrorism is spreading everywhere.

"We should be wary of those who talk like friends, but operate like enemies," he said.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 23:58 IST