Inside Nepal/ The Walk In: India’s dare-devil operation that got Nepal back on track
New Delhi, July 03: Espionage is a risky business and sources are recruited with great care to minimise the risk of exposure.
It was the year 1989-90 and India was having its fair share of troubles with Nepal. The then King Birendra was refusing to extend the Indo-Nepal friendship treaty and India was having a tough time. India had to get Nepal back on track as the administration over there had become close to the Chinese, had started buying weapons from them. Also worrisome was the fact that Kathmandu had become a happy hunting ground for the ISI, which was using it to shelter and also facilitate the escape of Kashmiri terrorists.
This is when the Eastern Service Bureau (ESB), part of India's external agency decided to launch an operation. Inside Nepal/ The Walk In, written by former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing comes up with this thrilling book about an operation carried out in Nepal.
While Inside Nepal is an operation undertaken in Nepal, The Walk In is about one in Bangladesh. Published by Harper Collins, India, this is Bhushan's third offering after, 'Escape to Nowhere and The Zero-Cost Mission/ Wily Agent.
The head of the ESB was charged by the agency's headquarters with overseeing the closure of the Bureau. Presented with the opportunity to redeem the bureau, the officer, who Bhushan refers to as Jeevnathan launches a series of audacious attacks aimed at securing India's interests in Nepal.
In The Walk In, Jeevnathan, the head of the Dhaka unit of India's external agency is taken completely by surprise when a young man walks body into his office and declares his intention of serving as a source.
The book deals about espionage is a risky business and sources are recruited with great care to minimise the risk of exposure. It is for Jeevnathan to find out if the man who walked in was a mole. He finds out that the man never pushes for sensitive information. He never demanded for money. This question is who is this man, and why is he so keen on helping Jeevnathan.
Bhushan discusses the Nepal operation with OneIndia. The king was becoming problematic, he says, while adding that the external agency was tasked with bringing him right back on track.
Now the problem was that the friendship treaty was expiring and the king was getting too close to the Chinese. He was buying weapons from them and had also converted the entire Kathmandu and adjoining areas into sleeper cells for Kashmiri terrorists. Further it had also become an escape route. Further the scenario was very tough for India and in Bangladesh too things were going against us, with Khalida Zia as the head.
In the midst of this, Rajiv Gandhi the then prime minister of India was advised by many to act tough in Nepal. He being naive went ahead and imposed an economic blockade. This proved to be counter-productive.
There were several events that followed and the ESB played a very crucial role in winning the battle in Nepal. The king backed down. He assured that a mechanism would be put in place to keep an eye on terrorists. He further assured us that he would keep us in the loop during the purchase of weapons. "To know how exactly the operation was carried out and how things turned up, you must read the book fully (laughs) says Amar Bhushan.
Bhushan has this knack of keeping the reader engaged with his books. Like his previous offerings, Inside Nepal/ The Walk In, is racy and paced. The operations mentioned in the book are exciting as well as dangerous. Bhushan makes sure that there is not a single dull moment. The long and short of it is that, "once you start reading the book, the biggest challenge would be to keep it down until you have completed it."