The Pakistani boat episode has exposed the fault lines in the country’s intelligence set-up, with the premier agency Intelligence Bureau expressing unhappiness over being kept out of the loop.
The intelligence input that led the Coast Guard to pursue the suspect boat on December 31 night, was generated by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a central technical intelligence agency, and fed to the Coast Guard.
“The input, disseminated to all the agencies concerned in Gujarat, was based on satellite phone intercepts. Also, there were technical surveillance reports on the boat’s suspicious movement in the Arabian Sea after it entered Indian waters. Even the local police were alerted,” said a senior government official on condition of anonymity.
“Intelligence inputs are shared on a need-to-know basis and this was apparently the reason why the information was not passed on to the IB immediately,” said the official.
The issue of intelligence sharing has come up amid recommendations by some agencies for a central anti-terror mechanism for more coordinated action.