US spied on India's NSA Ajit Doval: The Washington Post

The US snooping on India's NSA has been revealed in the leak of a Washington document on talks between him and Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev

NSA Ajit Doval with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PTI)
NSA Ajit Doval with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (PTI)


The US snooping on India's National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval has been revealed in the leak of a Washington document on talks between him and Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

It was not clear from The Washington Post report on the leak that if the intercept was made in India or in Russia.

Reporting on the leaked document on Sunday, the newspaper wrote, "It says that Doval assured Patrushev of India's support for Russia in multilateral venues and that New Delhi was working to ensure the war did not come up during a Group of 20 (G20) meeting chaired by India, despite 'considerable pressure' to do so."

According to the Post, the document said that Doval asserted that India was resisting "pressures" to support West-backed resolutions at the United Nations on Ukraine.

Citing the document, the Post said that India "would not deviate from the principled position it had taken in the past".

It was not clear from the Post story if the conversation was at an in-person meeting between them or a phone call leaving open how the US got the information.

If it was based on a direct recording of an in-person conversation, it would appear to have taken place in Moscow. If so, there is a difference between the date of the meeting cited by the Post and when a possible meeting could have taken place.

According to the newspaper the conversation is said to have taken place on February 22, a week before the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bengaluru on March 1.

But a public record could not be found of a conversation between Doval and Patrushev on that date.

The likely date for an in-person meeting between them is February 9, when, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, they met in Moscow and "discussed issues, including bilateral relations, regional and international developments".

Doval was in the Russian capital from February 7 to 9 when he also met Russia's President Vladimir Putin. It is possible that the document was dated February 22 and the newspaper assumed that it was the day of the meeting - unless there was a phone conversation on that date.

On February 20, Doval received a phone call from Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky asking India to support a UN General Assembly resolution on February 23 condemning Russia's invasion.

It is possible that Patrushev called on the eve of the Assembly meeting and the leaked report was based on it. India abstained on the resolution.The document on the Doval-Patrushev conversation was one of a trove of documents leaked on Discord, a messaging platform.

According to the Post, the leaked documents also showed that the US was able to access Pakistani internal government documents.

It reported that in an internal memo quoted in a leaked document "Pakistan's Difficult Choices", Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said that Islamabad "no longer try to maintain a middle ground between China and the United States".

The Post said that according to the document, she wrote that preserving Pakistan's partnership with the US would sacrifice full benefits from the "real strategic" partnership with China.

The newspaper said that another document from February 17 showed that an aide to Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif advised him that backing a West-backed resolution on Ukraine under pressure from the West would signal a shift in Pakistan's position and jeopardise Pakistan's ability to negotiate trade and energy deals with Russia.

The Post said that the documents showed the extent of snooping on South Africa, Brazil and Egypt.

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