Former Indian spy calls for talks to resolve Kashmir issue
20 November 2006
The Daily Times
New Delhi: A former top Indian spy has called for serious dialogue with Pakistan as well as with the Kashmiri leadership to settle the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Participating in a discussion on the newly launched book Bonfire of Kashmiryat by noted journalist Sandeep Bamzai, former intelligence chief AS Dulat called for an amicable resolution and return of peace with dignity. After retiring as chief of the external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Dulat who also headed the Kashmir desk at the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) during Atal Bihari Vajpayees tenure said the time was ripe for a solution to the problem. During Vajpayees tenure, Dulats input formed a core of the Indian governments Kashmir policy. He was responsible for bringing the APHC to the table with the then deputy Prime Minister LK Advani. He has once again been unofficially called on to make Kashmiri leaders aware of the governments moves in Kashmir. As a senior Intelligence Bureau officer, Dulat handled Kashmir for many years. Later, as RAW chief, he became familiar with the state and the depth of its problems. Dulat maintained that the 9-11 attacks in the US played a great role in shaping new thinking among the Kashmiri leadership. With the exception of Geelani sahib, there has been new thinking in Kashmir and serious thought on alternative solutions, he added. Dulat felt that Pakistan was also keen to find a way out of the Kashmir problem. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf seems keen to show a way out before stepping down next year, and it is time to talk to Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership seriously, he said. Dulat underlined that Pakistan is a major factor in the resolution process as, The body governing the violence is on the other side of the LoC. He, however, maintained that a solution ultimately had to be reached between Delhi and Srinagar, keeping Pakistan on board as well.