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Jaswant unhappy with intelligence agencies

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December 23, 2003 00:32 IST

Finance Minister Jaswant Singh on Monday said turf wars had dented the effectiveness of intelligence agencies even as Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani denied that 'intelligence failure' alone could be blamed for terrorist attacks in India.

Singh said the Kargil conflict was a result of 'failure of management of information, its conversion into actionable intelligence'.

Giving the example of the intelligence failure witnessed in the 9/11 terror strikes in the US, he said 'the enormity of the failure of 9/11 was because of faulty intelligence assessment' and the CIA and FBI constantly working at cross-purpose in order to preserve their turf.

"There are several intelligence organisations working within the Finance Ministry. Some of them do not even report to the Finance Secretary. It is a matter of concern that fraudulent and fake stamp papers were published, printed and given to states for distribution... so many deeds and agreements were signed on them, and yet we did not catch him till now. We have to find out what went wrong. (Else) It creates a climate of uncertainty," he said.

He appealed to intelligence agencies to avoid turf wars and integrate themselves for the sake of serving the nation's interests. Towards this end, he wanted the IB to be up to date with the latest innovations in the intelligence arena.

The finance minister said national security was a "holistic concept" in which economic security was the prime factor. He assured the nation that the fake Indian currency in circulation was not in a position to harm the economy.

Later, delivering the presidential address at the 16th Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture, Advani said, "Our security arrangements, including the role of the Intelligence Bureau, is praiseworthy."

Congratulating the IB and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) for their capabilities, Advani said, "If you compare the follow-up of 9/11 strikes and the attack on Parliament, the IB's role has been really commendable" as almost all culprits have been nabbed and justice meted out expeditiously.

IB Director K P Singh and a host of serving and retired police and intelligence officers were present at the conference.

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi/PTI