Author of book “Mission R&AW” Shri R.K.Yadav (former R&AW Officer) spoke to Robin Srivastava – Co Founder www.newsnviews.online
You views on our Ex VP Shri Ansari.
I had already mentioned three years ago when I wrote the book. He was Ambassador in Iran and their intelligence was against us. This was soon after Babri Masjid demolition. All Muslim countries were against India and so was Iran. One of our R&AW officers was kidnapped and was in detention for over two days. As an Ambassador he did not do his duty. He was not concerned and did not take any interest in getting R&AW officer released. If he as an Ambassador was not able to do the needful then he should have informed the government in Delhi. He did not do anything. This resulted in spouse loosing their cool and they started a sort of gherao of Ansari in the Embassy. During this time one of the officers called and updated me. Then I met Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was leader of opposition. Initially he was all praise for Ansari as he was staff officer when Vajpayee was Foreign Minister. But then he spoke to someone in PMO and within two hours our officers were released. I have written about this in my book in detail.
How do you rate R&AW with intelligence agencies of rest of the world?
Though our responsibilities are scattered all over the globe, we are primarily focused on regional activities. And if the regional responsibilities are taken into consideration then R&AW one of the best organisations. For that matter it’s even better than the CIA. If you compare from regional point of view, it is one of the best.
If you observe CIA, performance of the past 70 years it has failed miserably. It failed in Vietnam war, which lasted for 18 years and CIA assessment was not of the standards required. Lyndon Johnson got wrong assessment. In the Korea war, the Chinese army had entered North Korea and they were not aware.
R&AW came into being in 1968 and the biggest war after that we had was 1971 war. R&AW touched the sky in the field of intelligence organisations under the leadership of Mr.R.N Kao. Indian forces entered East Pakistani territory on 3rdDecember 1971 and on 16th December, more than 93 thousand Pakistani soldiers surrendered before Indian army. Wining such a crucial war in just a matter of a fortnight was a very proud moment for the Indian Army. Pakistan army was harassed by R&AW for nine months. The harassment was so brutal that Pakistani soldiers were running hither and thither for their life. Some tried to run towards Burma and 7th fleet of USA which was stationed in Bay of Bengal. R&AW had blocked their entire escape route. Pakistan Naval ships were destroyed.
Bangladesh was a major success for Indian Army but behind their success the foundation stones were laid by R&AW. Even the Chittagong tract was liberated by the SFF commandos of R&AW and army didn’t go there. This was the biggest achievement of R&AW in this war at that time.
The state of Sikkim had an independent status at that time and spread over an area of 2500 miles. It was treated as independent country at that time like Bhutan. R&AW was responsible for its merger with India. I have written about this in my Book “Mission R&AW”. There were three major officers who handled the operation. Not even a single bullet was fired and Sikkim was taken away under the nose of China and it was so well managed that the Chinese were mute spectators. China did not dare to fire a single bullet.
These were the two big achievements during the tenure of Mr.R.N Kao. These kinds of achievements are not there with CIA.
Mossad is an iron hand of Israel. They have freedom to operate the way they want including killing. R&AW doesn’t have that freedom.
The third task was to include Siachen under the Indian map, the Army and SSF commandos were sent under the guidance of R.N Kao in the year 1983-1984 and had accomplished success in their mission. ISI is nowhere in front of R&AW. ISI is nothing in comparison to R&AW.
The LTTE operations was planned and conceptualized during Indira Gandhi time by RN Kao. Commando training was imparted by R&AW and LTTE cadres were sent to Sri Lanka. They were not sent for terrorism but for liberation. It had two phases. During that time Indira Gandhi had made Policy Making Committee under RN Kao, and G Parthasarthy. These people made a blue print for LTTE operations and in that northern region was to be liberated as autonomous status or total liberation. There was no other demand.
LTTE cadres had no instructions or ideologies of any kind on terrorism. Due to political changes in the county. After Rajiv Gandhi became PM he removed the original advisors and got new team to assist him. As the advisors changed, there were changes in mentality of the political leaders and R.N Kao resigned and the modern advisors were given the power and they spoilt the entire operation.
Rajiv Gandhi signed the Colombo Pact. The Indian intelligence R&AW opposed it because their agents were already there and R&AW could not stop them from targeting LTTE. First attack was in Jaffna cricket ground. Around 100 odd soldiers were killed in a matter of one hour. Those who were left around were hanged on a tree. So that was a warning to begin with, Rajiv Gandhi government and his advisors did not realize. And after he lost the election, he paid the price by being killed LTTE commandos. So if you see from 1968 to 1991 you can see how the agency was operating.
Is it true the Ex PM Shri I K Gujral dismantled R&AW network in Paksitan?
I K GUJRAL was a refugee from Punjab and he had affection towards Pakistan and had a desire to build relations with Pakistan. Under his influence all the R&AW operations in Pakistan were forcefully shut, started trade and the entire country had to suffer its repercussions. It leads to an immense increase in the terrorist activities within the country. Rubiya Sayeed kidnap happened prior to him and what followed has resulted thereafter is major loss to the country.
R&AW is not a hit and run type of organisation. It runs on the principals of well planned and organised missions. It takes months to prepare a mission. And there are detailed and various studies before a mission to make sure that the chances of mission failure are reduced to a level of near negligible.
Your information on POW in Pakistan.
Damayanti Subedar was well known National level Badminton player and her husband Flight Lieutenant Vijay Vasant Tambay was one of the POWs. She s really worked hard to find her husband and other POWs. She even formed a group of such families and once she went to Pakistan for the same purpose but nothing happened. Pakistan doesn’t have an open society like India does. The democracy there is just for name sake. They don’t allow visitors in prison and don’t maintain record the way it is done in India. Some Indian agents were trapped inside the clutches of the Pakistani government and the Indian government has not been given any clue about their existence. It’s been 40 years now and yet there isn’t even a slight of information passed about their conditions in Pakistan.
Any comments on Ishrat Encounter.
Whatever happened in Gujarat, I can assure. R&AW has nothing to do with it. If any information is passed by R&AW may be possibility but R&AW has nothing to do with her encounter.
From the time R&AW came into being and now technology has played a vital role. How do see R&AW has adapted to the changes?
You have seen in the last three years there was so much threat. If R&AW not keeping Govt updated with the latest and have not allowed any setback. Type of intelligence has changed. Now it is totally different. Current R&AW chief is also doing extremely well. If you see during our time we did speak about Yasin Malik. There was time our people did not enter the by lane where these people stayed. Now Govt have picked up. All this is possible with the help of technology. Monitoring mechanism has changed because of technology and it helps. But physical human intelligence is always important for final output.
Your views on the bail of Col. Purohit.
He has become a political football. The earlier government proved him as if he was a disgrace and he is right winger. But, the new government is trying to find the truth out of the matter and are coming up with new facts related to the case. And he has no connection with R&AW. I have not much to say.
Change under current PM Shri Narendra Modi.
During the last three years of Modi rule, no major terrorist incident has occurred in India. Overall if you see during Manmohan Singh time 26/11 happened. Before that Parliament attack and before that Kargil happened. During Modi’s tenure there is no major incidence of this magnitude. Some sleeper cells were there, are eliminated. And across the globe ISIS has presence. Many people have asked me this question earlier also. ISIS is not in India and will not be allowed also. Our intelligence has done sufficient homework and is alert. There are some incidence like we have seen in Madhya Pradesh. These are self radicalised and try to portray like a terrorist. Rajinder Khanna who was also R&AW chief was master in counter terrorism. Whatever legacy he received, he added value and performed the role in the best way. And I would give credit to current NSA also. He is a most competitive and die hard nationalist. If you see there was a hostile government in Sri Lanka. They were pro China. Rajpakshe government had to quit. There is an allegation that India played a role and I would not deny also. I think the next in line is Maldives. There also the government is pro China. If you look at present relations with Bangladesh we have the best relations, something that was not there earlier. In fact at one point of time we used to say that Pakistan is a known enemy and Bangladesh is a hidden enemy. Look at the boundary settlement both the government have done. Have we witnessed such a settlement in any part of the world?
What would you like to share with the parents and students who are looking for a carrier in the intelligence agency?
It is a very challenging carrier option. Mostly the youth are the favourable candidates. Even I was quite young when I entered it. During my time the people were dare devils. Now the generation has changed there are direct recruitments. Then there are written examinations, psychological interviews and general awareness interviews. Fitness tests, fitness training, There is a very different kind of procedure.
Depending on the talent need we go to Universities and other campus. Then there are reliable sources to identify talent. Government has exempted R&AW from UPSC. Inititially I too felt it should be part of UPSC but now I accept that it was a good decision. (Laughingly he says) If we need pic pocket, mad dog veterinary then such talent has to be obtained. You see all recruitment is need based.
Shri R.K.Yadav Twitter: @rawrkyadav