Former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi Didn’t Trust USSR: CIA Report (w/link to the report)

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Washington, DC – In another disclosure from the Cold War era, a recent declassified CIA document said the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had considered supporting anti-Russian civilian groups in Pakistan if the then Zia regime was thrown out by Moscow.

The 31-page document titled, “The Soviet Presence in Afghanistan: Implications for the Regional Powers and the US,” which was recently declassified and posted on the CIA website under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asserted, “Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would like both the USSR and the United States to end their involvement in South Asia.”

The CIA report of April 1985 noted, “New Delhi regards Pakistan as a strategic buffer against the USSR and would oppose Moscow’s effort to dominate Pakistan. New Delhi and Moscow would find themselves supporting rival factions within Pakistan.”

Highlighting the lack of trust among perceived allies, the report stated, “The Indians would seek to significantly reduce their dependence on Moscow and reorder their strategic relationship with the USSR, the United States and China if they perceived Soviet ambitions as extending beyond Afghanistan toward the subcontinent.”

“In Soviet view, conflict between India and Pakistan would work toward solving Moscow’s Afghan problem and would give Moscow opportunities to strengthen its position in South Asia,” the report said.

The report came as an interesting commentary on the accepted strong defense ties between the former USSR and India during that era.

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