IPS officer Asif Ibrahim was made the first ever Muslim director of the Central Intelligence Bureau by the Congress-led UPA Government last November ostensibly with an eye on Muslim vote in its race for minority votes with the likes of Mulayam Singh and his Samajwadi Party. It was supposed to be a message to the India’s Muslim leaders who command their community votes: “Look, we have made a Muslim the first Central IB head, something which no Government of Independent India including those of Pandit Nehru and Mrs Gandhi had ever done”. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde even said so after Ibrahim’s appointment.
But this Muslim card has come back to haunt the Congress. Ibrahim has shown his true nationalist colours to the great discomfiture of the Congress, which wants to fix Narendra Modi in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case by hook or crook, by opposing the CBI’s attempts to rope in a officer Rajendra Kumar, who had given the Ishrat Jahan tip off to Gujarat police in 2004.
Vehemently opposing the CBI move to chargesheet Kumar Ibrahim has communicated to the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that CIB has enough evidence to prove that Jahan was a part of a Lashkar-e-Toiba ISI module out to kill Narendra Modi and LK Advani and that even David Coleman Headley, an accused in the Mumbai bomb blast case, had pointed this out to the FBI in US during his interrogation.
More, Ibrahim has pointed out that the arrest of Rajendra Kumar could have very serious consequences for the set-up of the nation’s premier intelligence gathering agency and as a result the country’s national security as it could deter dynamic CIB officers from genuine intelligence gathering in the fear that they could be hauled up in future. Reportedly Ibrahim had a running fight on the issue with his counter part in the CBI, Salim Ali, who is said to be of the view that Kumar can be chargesheeted.
Says security and political analyst Vidyut Thakar, who is an authority on Pakistan-related national security issues: “Ibrahim has acted like his great namesake in history, Ibrahim Khan Gardi, who commanded the artillery of the Marathas in the 1761 Third Battle of Panipat against Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali. The invader promised him mountains of gold for leaving the Marathas and joining his Muslim flag. But Gardi refused to prove untrue to his salt and fought with great bravery in that battle. Ultimately, he was captured and killed with horrid cruelty by Abdali. Asif Ibrahim’s move will go a long way in removing the stereo-typing of Muslims in this country as ones who always side with the cause of their brethren even at the cost of national security “.
Ibrahim has always had a good record of service and his role in counter-insurgency intelligence gathering has been outstanding. During his younger days, he was a great favourite of late Madhavrao Scindia having been his principal secretary when Scindia was the Railway Minister in the last 1980s.