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Pointing out a “glaring instance” of politics destroying an extremely significant piece of intelligence shared between two nations, a security expert on Thursday said that Israel had shared with India certain transcripts about the possible threat to the life of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that went missing after the assassination of the top Congress leader in 1991.

“In recent history, in the last three-four decades, the most critical information Israel shared with us was certain transcripts relating to possible threat to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s life. Eventually, as the situation played out, the threat materialised… Once he was no more, the political dispensations were very different.

“Nations had to work with each other on a day-to-day basis. The situation arose where that particular piece of intelligence got misplaced, removed, or whatever,” said Namit Verma during a discussion titled ‘Intelligence Cooperation and Security Challenges in the Emerging World Order’ organised by the Usanas Foundation.

Mr Verma, according to the programme’s host and Usanas founder Abhinav Pandya, has been an “expert on global geopolitics with specialisation in security matters” for decades, having also “worked closely with the government on various critical matters of security and foreign policy”.

“In India, we reconstructed the material based on the correspondence with other files. We sought another copy of the transcript, but Israel never provided it. There can’t be a more glaring instance of how politics plays out in sharing intelligence between nations.

At that point, India was critical, the Soviet Union wasn’t disintegrated and India was a backchannel between the US and the Soviets. Rajiv Gandhi was part of that communication,” he mentioned during the discussion which was also attended by two Israeli security experts, Joseph Rozen and Kobe Michael, the latter having served as Deputy Director General and head of the Palestinian division in the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

Mr Verma said that such incidents have happened whenever global equations are changing or the existing order is challenged.

“This particular transcript effectively said that the payment had been made… It said that ‘Godman’ has made the payment… What could be more obvious… On the backchannel, all this information was documented and our intelligence agencies were aware of that. They asked for security to be provided which the government of the day did not provide,” the expert told the virtual gathering.