U.S. Policy / India

Galiullin, Rustem. The CIA in Asia: Covert Operations Against India and Afghanistan. Translated from the Russian by Gayane Chalyan. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1988. 144 pages.

Published prior to the Soviet coup, this book is primarily a collection of essays on CIA misdeeds in India and Afghanistan -- although Galiullin manages to comment on everything from the OSS to Watergate and the Contras. His sources vary from the writings of Lenin to the Washington Post. The book is peppered with the names of CIA officers, "victims" of U.S. foreign policy, and agents working for the CIA. Despite the anti-imperialist slant, the chapters on India and Afghanistan are worth reading. He seems to have gleaned from both Indian and U.S. periodicals what evidence there is of CIA activities in the region. Though his conclusions are subjective, they are based on actual events. However, some of Galiullin's accusations parrot the party line -- he manages to tie the CIA in with the Society of Krishna Consciousness and describes the Peace Corps as a CIA front. Given the sponsorship of the publication, the reader should consult other sources before making a judgment.

-- Wendell Minnick


Nair, Kunhanandan. Devil and His Dart: How the CIA is Plotting in the Third World. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1986. 156 pages.

Parakal, Pauly V. Secret Wars of CIA. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1984. 132 pages.

These slim books are typical of the Third World and Soviet press on the topic of the CIA, a half-dozen of which are in NameBase. They are the sort of broad anti-CIA polemic that would be considered propagandistic and anti-intellectual by "sophisticated" Western publishers. The facts presented in these books can rarely be disputed, since they are frequently compiled from accepted U.S. sources, but the shotgun approach preferred by the authors leaves no doubt as to where the real evil empire can be found. Occasional tidbits on CIA activities that appeared only in the foreign press make these volumes worthwhile. One criticism might be that the term "CIA" is sometimes used too loosely, and thereby understates the pluralism that may exist among U.S. foreign policy elites.

Kunhanandan Nair is the European correspondent of "Blitz" in Bombay; the dust jacket states that he has "extensive contacts in Western and European countries, and at the European headquarters of the CIA in Frankfurt." His book includes an appendix of 150 alleged CIA personnel, with the years and countries where they were posted (pp. 116-132). One of these is Matthew Gannon, who was deputy station chief in Beirut when he was killed in the mysterious Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am 103 in December, 1988. Several other U.S. intelligence officers were on board as well.

Pauly Parakal is the assistant editor of the New Delhi weekly New Age. His chapters on the CIA in Afghanistan and Poland during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and in India generally, contain information not readily available. One story claims that the Pakistani Medical Research Center in Lahore was breeding infected mosquitoes in 1981, paying over 300 Pakistanis for use as guinea pigs. PMRC was a University of Maryland project with funding from AID and allegedly from the CIA, which was presumably interested in developing new capabilities for covert biological warfare.


Smith, John D. I Was a CIA Agent in India. New Delhi: New Age Printing, 1967. Pamphlet No.5, 36 pages. (Compiled from three articles in the Moscow weekly "Literaturnaya Gazeta" in 1967, and published by D.P. Sinha for the Communist Party of India.)

John Discoe Smith joined the State Department as a communications code clerk in 1950. This memoir details his involvement in CIA operations in India from 1954-1959. In 1955 he married Mary London, whom he names as a CIA employee based in New Delhi. This link lured Smith into a variety of operations. He goes on to name numerous CIA officers and Indian agents, and briefly describes their activities. One disturbing reference is the bombing of the Air India plane carrying the Chinese delegation to the Bandung Conference in 1955. Smith is asked by Jack Curran, his wife's boss, to deliver a bag to a KMT agent in New Delhi, and is told later by his wife that it contained the bomb which destroyed the plane. (This may have been one of the CIA's plots to kill Zhou En-lai, who was scheduled to be on the flight; see the New York Times, 11/22/67, p.23). In 1960 Smith resigned and wandered around Europe. He later defected to the Soviet Union and emerged with his story. Smith states that he sent a letter to Indian officials detailing CIA activities, which may have helped lead to the expulsion of CIA station chief Harry Rositzke. Despite the obvious propaganda jargon, this booklet appears to be a reliable account of CIA activities in India in the 1950s. -- Wendell Minnick

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