Ex-RAW chief rebuffs reports of Taliban arrival in Kashmir

18 April 2009
The Daily Times

New Delhi: Former Kashmir interlocutor and retired Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief AS Dulat on Saturday rebuffed reports that Taliban had arrived in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) to join the militancy in the disputed region. Dulat said there was no scope left for militancy now in IHK. Significant: Calling People’s Conference Chairman Sajjad Gani Lone’s joining the electoral fray in Kashmir ‘a significant event to watch’, the former RAW chief said Lone always had leanings towards India and was about to participate in elections earlier too. In an interview with NDTV, Dulat said, “He (Sajjad) always had leaning towards India. He was supposed to participate in 2002 assembly elections and later in 2008 as well. But that did not mature.” He said Lone withdrew and had second thoughts on joining electoral fray in 2008 because of the agitation following the Amarnath land row. Dulat said for any political party to remain alive, rejuvenated participation in the elections was important. Impossible: “It is not possible to keep your cadres intact while remaining out of electoral politics,” he added. On rumblings within the moderate Hurriyat faction on the boycott of elections, Dulat said they must have realised the futility of boycott and dwindling support from Pakistan, adding that the faction had been engaged with New Delhi, talking to LK Advani and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.