Not one mole, Mr Prime Minister, but two!
First, the Kandahar pay-off issue and next, the ‘mole’ in PMO. Mr Jaswant Singh’s new book seems to have opened a can of worms. Mr Singh’s book refers to a ‘mole’ in the PMO in Narasimha Rao’s time, who, he claims, had ‘leaked’ nuclear secrets to the US. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has challenged Jaswant to name the ‘mole’ in public.
Jaswant’s response is that he would disclose the name only to the PM. But the PM insists that Jaswant name the mole in public. The drama goes on as the PM’s advisers see Jaswant’s mole issue as a godsend to distract the nation from difficult issues like the Mumbai blasts and terrorism. Both Singhs, Jaswant and Manmohan, think mistakenly that the identity of the mole is a national secret, but the names of the moles, yes there is more than one, has been publicly exposed some nine years back. Nine years back? Yes. The identities of not one but two moles are publicly known to people.
The moles had tipped off the US government that Narasimha Rao was planning a nuclear test in 1995, ahead of the 1996 elections. Both these facts had been brought out in the expose on the front page of The Indian Express on September 20, 1997, headlined US plots Gujral Sharif show.
The core of the 1997 expose was the secret Track II diplomacy, almost a coup, attempted by two US institutions, Rockefeller Foundation and Carter Center, in collusion with the two ‘moles’ on the Indian side. The plot was to organise, secretly, a trilateral meet between Inder Gujral, the Indian PM then, Nawaz Sharif, the then Pakistan PM and Bill Clinton, to discuss the Kashmir issue. This entire scheme was designed outside the formal structure of the Ministry of External Affairs. The MEA had kept on saying that Gujral would go for a UN meet on September 29-30, 1997 and he had no plans to advance his visit to September 22-23 to meet Sharif or Clinton. However, the US side leaked to the media that Gujral would come in advance and meet Sharif and Clinton. The track II effort was on to accomplish precisely what the Americans had leaked, which the MEA had kept denying, even angrily. Finally, Gujral, who was also the Foreign Affairs Minister, himself confirmed, to the shock of the MEA, that he would visit the US on September 22-23 and meet Sharif and Clinton. What was being proposed by Track II model between India and Pakistan was like the Camp David meet that resolved the Palestinian issue, this time to resolve the Kashmir issue. This was to be done without making it appear that the US President was brokering it. So proxies had to be found to act as brokers and Rockefeller Foundation and Carter Center were to be the brokers, of course with the Indian ‘moles’ acting as abettors. That demonstrated the intimacy between the moles, one of whom was the Indian Ambassador to the US, on the Indian side and the two US Foundations. Thus the Indian Ambassador to US was working more intimately with Rockefeller Foundation than with his own employers, the MEA! The US thought that the Indian Prime Minister who had coined a doctrine of unilateral peace with Pakistan in his own name ‘the Gujral Doctrine’ was a soft target to get India to sign on the dotted line. This was the eye of the expose in September 1997. This expose resulted in sabotaging the efforts of the Track II diplomats to corner the weakest Indian Prime Minister into talks on Kashmir, which would have been irreversible. After the expose was carried in this paper, the Rockefeller Foundation documents were reached to the Indian Prime Minister, through Indian intelligence, at Rome, where he was breaking his journey on way to the US, to warn him about the consequence of the Track II efforts. The expose aborted the Track II efforts. Now coming to the ‘mole’ controversy, the expose also referred to the Rockfeller Foundation documents to say that the two moles who worked with the US in the Track II diplomacy in 1997 were also the ones who, according to the Rockefeller Foundation papers, had tipped off the US, in 1995, that Narasimha Rao had held a secret meet in Bangalore to plan a nuclear blast (that is, the Pokharan blast which occurred later under Vajpayee) in 1995. The tip-off sabotaged Rao’s grand plan. Three years later, Vajpayee could successfully accomplish the Pokharan blast to the shock of the Americans only because he held no meeting like Rao did, but took the decision himself! In fact the US began complaining about its intelligence failure after the Pokharan blast. Obviously there were moles in the PMO then! The expose by The Indian Express was based on the secret documents of Rockefeller Foundation available to the paper. The article brings out the role of the two moles in sabotaging the nuclear plan.
One was the Indian Ambassador to the US in 1995 and later, in 1997, he was the Governor of Gujarat. The other, though not so specifically identified, was reasonably clear. He was, according to the Rockefeller Foundation papers, a senior ex-official in the sensitive Technology Ministry who was regarded as ‘a person with direct access to Prime Minister Rao’ and-more importantly-who ‘swore’ the American side to secrecy about what he had told them! The role of these two gentlemen has been well documented by Rockefeller Foundation papers. So one of the moles, the ex-Ambassador was indiscrete in that he did not swear the Foundation to secrecy. But the other mole was clever, he swore them to secrecy, so he is referred to indirectly. However, both are clearly identifiable, then and also now. Jaswant Singh must have known about both, yet, he mentions about only one mole and not two! If all this does not make it obvious, the names of the two are Dr. V S Arunachalam, former scientific adviser to the PM and Naresh Chandra, ex-Ambassador of India to the US. So Mr Prime Minister and Mr Jaswant Singh, both of you had missed out that the fact of the moles and their identities were exposed in the public domain as early as September 20, 1997! The issue indeed is not the identities of the moles of 1995 and 1997, but how to ensure that no more such moles exist now! Extracts from the article headlined US plots Gujral-Sharif show that appeared in the newspaper on September 20, 1997-just two days ahead of Gujral’s advanced visit to the US on Sept 22-23. This plan (Gujral-Sharif meet) was formulated not yesterday, but, two years back, on 22nd September 1995, to be precise. The Americans were awaiting a suitable Indian Prime Minister for executing their plan. Inder Gujral, with his famous Gujral doctrine of giving without expecting, to the neighbours, was an inviting victim. So the plan formulated on 22nd September 1995 is being executed on 22nd September 1997.
In fact, Inder Gujral and Nawaz Sharif are mere actors in the drama reaching its climax at New York on September 22, 1997. Even Bill Clinton seems to be only a guest actor. It is entirely scripted by skilled diplomats assembled by two non-government foundations of USA, Rockefeller Foundation and Carter Center. With just two critical Indians operating from the USA and dealing directly with the Prime Minister, the Indian establishment i.e., the MEA and the PMO, has been virtually reduced to the position of curious audience awaiting the next scene in the drama to unfold. The American foundations had scripted and plotted the whole drama unfolding now at New York for over two years. An ex-Indian bureaucrat now doing ‘academic work’ in US and the former Governor of Gujarat, who is now the Indian envoy to US, are the two players from India. The official establishment on both sides, India and US, were deliberately kept in the dark to prevent, as the documents repeatedly mention, a ‘leak’! It all started with Bill Clinton’s one-time dormitory companion Robin Rafael’s disastrous diplomacy in India. She managed to generate more hatred for Clinton than Richard Nixon did to himself by moving the 7th Fleet against India in the 1971 war. Sometime in 1995, the Americans decided to ‘engage’ India, meaning to talk to India, reversing the earlier policy of ‘containing’ India, which meant hostility to India. In the middle of 1995, the American Intelligence was tipped off by the two Indian players that Narasimha Rao was considering testing nuclear weapons and employing the Prithvi Missiles before the elections in 1996. A flurry of activity commenced with American foundations converging on India. Thanks to the two critically placed Indians, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) came to know that a ‘secret’ meeting was being held in Bangalore at the initiative of Rao in November 1995 to consider the nuke test, Prithvi deployment and ‘other steps’. No one was supposed to know about the meeting. Rao, RF noted, wanted it kept away from US intelligence. But the two Indian players who participated in the meeting themselves kept the US side informed.
The then Governor of Gujarat attended this secret meeting by a circuitous travel route, London, Frankfurt, Bombay and then Bangalore. He was the informant to the RF on what was happening on the Indian side, including at the meeting. The other, though not named, was the ex-official in the sensitive Technology ministry who was regarded as ‘a person with direct access to Prime Minister Rao’ and who ‘swore’ the American side to secrecy about what he had told them. The role of these two gentlemen has been well documented by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Bangalore meeting was preceded by a meeting called by the US Foundations at Pocantico between June 18 to 21, 1995. The meetings in June and November 1995 had, in the main, non-proliferation as the issue.