In the first admission of its kind, former chief of India’s premier spy agency (RAW) said Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), is the most powerful in the world.
“The most powerful intelligence agency is either KGB which no more exists or ISI, because they are very anonymous”, AS Dulat said, while addressing a session at the Times Lit Fest in New Delhi.
When asked to rate RAW against the spy agencies of the rest of the world, the former spy master said, “I believe we’re as good as anybody else. We don’t have technical abilities but are fast catching up.”
Dulat also upheld that he hasn’t exposed any secrets in his book titled “Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years” and only expressed his views on matters already dominating the public domain.
Earlier in July, in another startling revelation, Dulat admitted Indian intelligence agencies have over the years paid militants and separatists, along with mainstream politicians and political parties in Indian Kashmir to compete with Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI.
“So what’s wrong? What is there to be so shocked or scandalised by. It’s done the world over,” Dulat had said, while speaking to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt.
Lieutenant-General Rizwan Akhtar took the reins of the chief of ISI in November last year. He took charge from Lt-General Zaheerul Islam as the director general, considered by many to be both the most powerful and the most challenging position in the country.
In May, Army chief General Raheel Sharif directed the country’s intelligence agencies – including the ISI – to adopt a more proactive approach in order to counter the moves of the hostile spy agencies that are trying to destabilise Pakistan.
Gen Raheel’s statement came two days after gunmen massacred 44 members of the peaceful Ismaili community in a brazen attack on a bus in the Safoora neighbourhood of Karachi. It also came a day after the foreign ministry said that Indian military intelligence agency was using Afghan soil to fuel terrorism in Pakistan.
This article originally appeared on the Times of India.