Of ISI, RAW and the covert option

The difference between Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies is in their ability to form policy, says Vikram Sood
The main difference between the Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies is in their ability to form policy in the country, said former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing Vikram Sood, listing the resources available to the two agencies as another disparity.
“Inter-Services-Intelligence [ISI, of Pakistan] decides policy, while the Research and Analysis Wing is a service provider to the policy makers,” said Mr. Sood. “The Army is now the largest corporate sector in Pakistan. It runs different industries. When the [RAW] is asked, we provide assessments. The ISI is the clandestine core of the Pakistan Army, which decides ties with India and Afghanistan,” he added. Mr. Sood’s view was, however, contested by an audience question about whether RAW didn’t play a “larger” role in India’s neighbourhood. “Covert [operations] is my business, but it will not be at variance with the overt policy of the government. We are essentially a service provider, with a covert option,” Mr. Sood said.
Speaking about the book, former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said intelligence agencies were often blamed unfairly when there was an attack or infiltration, though their warnings go unheeded. The event in Delhi on Monday was attended by several former intelligence chiefs and senior officials of the service. Launching the book, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani took aim at officials who write “tell-all memoirs” and distinguished Mr. Sood’s book from them. “To sell a book, Mr. Sood didn’t break his oath of secrecy,” Ms. Irani said.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/of-isi-raw-and-the-covert-option/article24684055.ece

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