Policing even farther South of the Border?

Earlier this week Vinod pointed to a StrategyPage item that he referred to as “a minor bombshell.” The bombshell in question was that “American agents have been interrogating terrorism suspects held in Pakistani jails. This cooperation has been kept ‘secret’ because so many Pakistanis find it distasteful.” Yeah, but everyone suspected this, even though he was correct in labeling it a bombshell. Well, if you think that was provocative then what about this one? Al-Jazeerah reports:

The huge haul of sophisticated arms and ammunition worth 10 million rupees from a container at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in New Bombay, last Saturday by Bombay police and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), has led to the US taking a serious view of the situation and also a possible joining of forces by deploying security officials at the port.

The US is wary of the modus operandi of the shipment of arms, suspected for use in terror activities, and will now deploy its security official at this largest port of India. They also want the port to join the list of 30 other worldwide ports covered under the Container Security Initiative (CSI). A top police official said that the Jawaharlal Nehru port ranks among one of the top ten ports from were maximum containers are shipped to the United States.

U.S. agents on Indian soil, doing policing work? Ooooh, if it happens then the Indian nationalists are so going to be pissed when they find out they have something in common with Pakistan.

The deployment of the US security personnel…would result in rapid cargo clearances, as the procedures would be in line with US government requirements.

Meanwhile Indian intelligence agencies and customs authorities have strongly objected to permission being granted to US Customs and Border Patrol personnel being posted at Indian port.

9 thoughts on “Policing even farther South of the Border?

  1. the bombshell in question was that “American agents have been interrogating terrorism suspects held in Pakistani jails.

    err… actually, the “bombshell” was admitting to US Troops + combat operations on another (non-combatant) country’s soil. FBI / CIA agents talking to prisoners — while a big deal — isn’t the same sort of “cat out of the bag”.

  2. Well if you consider that the “CIA” in this case is an armed paramilitary force its sort of the same thing. In any case my point wasn’t to dispute that it was a bombshell announcement which I think it was.

  3. I am assuming the US personnel operating on Indian soil will be Customs personnel who will prob’ly try to expedite movement of goods from India to the US. Personally, I don’t see the harm in that. However letting the US send troops over and letting them run their ops from Indian bases is a different matter.

  4. its understandable that their is opposition towards putting US custom agents on indian soil, despite good relations indian intelligence agencies are a long way from trusting their US counterparts and one of their arguments would surely be that these might be “more” than just custom agents, also the indians wouldnt wanna look as if they can’t handle the situation. But at the same time it would be naive to believe that these US agents would somehow have any sort of authority at the ports, they wont be left out of sight for a minute.

  5. Did Sepia Mutiny blog about Rabinder Singh? He’s the Indian spy for the US that got smuggled out of India, all while the RAW was watching him. It happened recently. Google him for more info.

    Anyhow, if I may speculate, it’s more understandable for the Indian intelligence agencies to be apprehensive with the Rabinder Singh episode so fresh in many people’s minds. Rabinder Singh represented a massive failure on the part of Indian intelligence agencies and they don’t want anything similar to happen again, even though these are only border security initiatives.

  6. …one of their arguments would surely be that these might be “more” than just custom agents…

    I did think of that. Wonder how India will handle this though? I would rather that they not be another obsequious country overrun by the US.

  7. My cynical angle is: the customs guys might have problems taking bribes like earlier. Plus they would be embarassed by showcasing the sheer incompetency of our security and intelligence apparatus.

    India is already overrun by US intellegence agents who can buy whatever info they want with a few dollars, there is no need to actually do any snooping.

    No wonder India is considered a light weight and gets no respect in the international community.

  8. runnerwallah : For the benefit of the others here, I present Mr. Rabinder Singh.

    Rabinder Singh was a Joint Secretary in the RAW. Apparently he has fled to the US via Nepal during the elections last May.

    He was under watch(after some shady behavior, missing files) and given his senior position in RAW, they chose to wait & watch(A small time field agent would’ve had a small accident at the earliest).

    He has since been fired and the RAW has unearthed multiple offshore bank accounts.

    However, it is also possible that the whole thing is some kind of RAW blackop…WE’ll never know..