Of the many interesting developments that occurred around the world during September, including both painful events such as the Taliban’s constant increase in violent activities over Afghanistan as well as the sudden developments, such as Palestinians breaking from an Israeli prison only to prompt a drive of mass arrests, there was an interesting development in the east, the sub-continent, to be precise.
A strategic meet took place earlier in September in India’s national capital, New Delhi between Mr. Ajit Doval, noted spymaster and current NSA and the American delegation of CIA officers led by current director Mr. Bill Burns.
Th 65-year-old famous Diplomat was present in one of the world’s largest and most noted democracies for his maiden meet with an important ally of the United States of America.
But yet, there was something that wasn’t quite right and stood out albeit in not the most glorious manner as Bill Burns met with Ajit Doval.
What was it?
Well, whether you are scrolling past the insightful piece of commentary on a New York Times or sifting past the pages of a report in a piece of reportage on an Indian daily, here’s what was strange:
The CIA director noted that a member of his delegation was experiencing Havana syndrome during his visit to India. And this is no ordinary piece of news, rather an interesting one in that it was the first time ever that a US official suffered from the Havana Syndrome upon his visit to the country.
Not an ordinary situation, things got to a point where the member of the visiting US delegation had to receive medical treatment in the host country, i.e., India. Though, it left Bill Burns fuming with anger.
And the CNN made an immediate note of the situation stating the following:
“Some CIA officials, names not disclosed, viewed the chilling episode as a direct message to Burns that no one is safe, including those working directly for the nation’s top spy!”
But then here is a question- shouldn’t this incident be looked at as being a normal occurrence or a one-off incident that could happen to just about anyone instead of resorting to name calling and blame games?
That said, for starters, here is what is the Havana syndrome:
The symptoms include the person suffering from a strange mix of medical or physiological anomalies including loss of hearing, nausea, memory loss and dizziness, none of which you have to contend, can ever be a pretty sight.
While it’s not known what became of that member of the CIA delegation and whether he or she went back safe or is doing absolutely fine right now, what can certainly be shared, only since it is in the public domain is the reason for the CIA delegation’s visit to India during early-September:
According to the Hindustan Times:
Burns and his team met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and top members of the National Security Council Secretariat during the visit to India on September 7. From India, the delegation travelled to Pakistan, where Burns met army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. Burns’ visit to India was kept under tight wraps and there was no official word from both sides on the trip.
The US administration has said very little officially about the Havana syndrome, a mysterious illness that has afflicted American spies and diplomats and was first reported in Cuba in late 2016. Since then, similar cases have been reported from Russia, China, Austria and several other countries.