New Delhi: US President Obama's visit to India as the chief guest of Republic Day parade is the proof of deepening ties between the two countries. Indian PM Narendra Modi even broke the protocol to receive his American counterpart on the Airport.
With Nuclear Deal on the mind of the two leaders, they will meet again to end the deadlock surrounding it.
But there is more to the relations of these powerful countries. With growing concern of terror attacks to both countries, they have a lot to talk about than just the nuclear deal. One of the key weapons to fight terror is intelligence and information. The two countries have emerged as the most unlikely partners in sharing information, but the flow of information is mostly one way.
US intelligence agencies have been feeding information to their Indian equivalents over the years. The flow of information and meetings between the officials of two countries became more frequent after the 9/11 attacks. India being the most powerful country in the Af-Pak vicinity, the information provided by Indian agencies has been vital to US. But North American country has been providing more information to India than India has to it. The question many asks, if that information is reliable?
The mistrust between the two countries goes way back to the cold-war era. India's proximity to USSR drew US away from India and many believe that the mistrust between the two nations still exists.
A report by a leading daily quotes a retired intelligence officer that the information is reliable many a times but not always.
Visit of RAW officials to CIA's headquarters in Langley and vice-versa happen very often. The contacts between the two agencies have been institutionalized. The meetings between other agencies exist too, but CIA-RAW liaison meetings happen more frequently.
The information fed by US agencies to India is mostly about the terror-related activities in Pakistan. But some of the Indian officers believe that getting addicted to their information is not a good sign.
Sometimes the information becomes alert if it comes out in public. Many believe that these alerts causing international concerns affect India's image as an investment and tourist destination. Few of the officers of intelligence establishment caution the move. An officer quoted by a leading daily said the US has vested interest in the region so we should be wary of too much of dependency on CIA. Another officer told that a large number of inputs have been found to be unreliable.
The concerns of intelligence officers are not unfounded. The defection of a senior RAW officer to US in 2004 deepens the question of real motives of US agencies in India. The reluctance of US agencies to not share any information on David Coleman Headley cast a shadow of doubt on them.
The free pass and deep access US agencies enjoy in Indian intelligence establishment is getting deeper day by day. The developments trouble many as their real motives still remain unknown.