With the growing influence of a China-Pakistan nexus in the Arabian Sea, Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is fortressing its maritime intelligence network in the Arabia Sea region. The island of Maldives, during the tenure of then President Abdullah Yemeen had become the overseas haven for Pakistan’s intelligence agency- Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) but RAW is back in action.
A report by RAW reveals that the Indian agency has successfully foiled ulterior designs of the ISI in the island of Maldives. The ISI (backed by Ministry of State Security) along with the MSS (Chinese spy agency) and allies of the Maldives President were encouraging the foundation of anti-Indian sentiments/activities from within the Pakistan embassy in Male.
The reign of Abdullah Yemeen (2013-2018) saw the Chinese gaining military, economic and political power within the island. This trend did not sit well with India. The Chinese had invested large amounts of money close to 2 billion dollars in massive infrastructure projects. The President is said to have even leased out large portions of land to Chinese businesses. There is conclusive evidence from RAW that the former President was allegedly close to Pakistan and had facilitated the increased presence of the ISI within the Maldives, it was Pakistan’s ambassador to the Maldives that was key in bringing Beijing closer to the Maldives.
The situation turned when Ibrahim Mohammed Solih took over as the country’s President. The incumbent President ran his campaign on a hard “anti-China” stance in last year’s election. The growing influence of ISI is said to have been neutralised since Solih took over the reins of governance. Modi’s recent visit to the Maldives has helped build pro-India sentiments and consolidate the relations between the two countries. The trip was instrumental and set up constructively by Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.
RAW, under new chief Samant Goel, is said to be going through a massive overhaul. Goel, an expert on Sino-Pak affairs, has had 18 years of experience with RAW. The agency has been keeping a strict vigil over Maldives, Seychelles and the Arabian Sea region. Samant Goel was also an instrumental figure in the recent Balakot strike.
There has been an intense measure to invigorate the cadre and increase impetus on human intelligence. The agency is said to have kicked out scores of agents who fail to meet professional standard and integrity. RAW agents who have had their covers blown, identities compromised have all been asked to leave. The complaints on the integrity of the officers and agents have also been considered in laying off employees in the agency.
RAW has also procured state-of-the-art equipment and is said to be prepared for interceptions and interventions as per. In cyber surveillance, India’s RAW can be compared to even Israel’s MOSSAD or China’s MSS. Sources suggest that RAW have the required capabilities to handle any economic, cyber-security threat that comes its way.