RAW Opposes Renewal of IR Agreement with Pakistan
The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) has opposed renewal of international roaming (IR) agreement with Pakistan, citing security threats, prompting the home ministry to seek the views of the telecom department to validate the observations made by the intelligence agency.
The agency has explained that advanced geophysical location trackers provide the capabilities to locate the location of a specific mobile phone device anywhere in the world, according to a government document. The only essential requirement, as per the agency, is a roaming arrangement with the country in which the target is to be located. The system also displays the respective location and movement history in both geographical and textual form.
The intelligence agency has noted that Pakistan being a ‘hostile’ neighbor might have interest in tracing and tracking its probable contacts or operative in India. Since the use of this locater is only possible in case the two countries have roaming arrangements, the government must be careful in allowing resumption of roaming between the countries.
According to RAW:
Such systems are easily available in the world market and may be acquired by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI & it would be able to easily track any Indian mobile phone user.
According to the agency, the roaming facility will make India’s defense personnel and VIPs especially vulnerable to target attacks in case the Pakistani intelligence covertly passes on the details to terrorist organizations.
India and Pakistan first signed a bilateral roaming agreement in 2004, but following reports of misuse this facility was later discontinued.