We have been “inviting” Pakistan to play a role in the Kashmir problem on various occasions despite the neighbouring country having lost its standing in that state, former RAW chief A S Dulat said on Friday. “We have been inviting Pakistan to play a role in the Kashmir problem on various occasions despite the neighbouring country having lost its role in that state,” Dulat said.
“We (government) need Pakistan as something to fall back on. We must not forget that in the 2013 elections in Pakistan, Kashmir was not the issue in their election.”
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“Nawaz Sharif never spoke of Kashmir during that election campaign. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan had also said ‘Let’s forget Kashmir’. Then, how come Pakistan still got active in Kashmir?” he said.
“After J&K elections, we tried to maintain status quo, which was dangerous. J&K was already polarised and after BJP winning some seats, it formed the government with PDP.
“Though it was a natural alliance based on their voting, the ground reality was of unrest after then CM thanked Pakistan and separatists, which invited Pakistan back in the game,” Dulat said.
“Post 9/11 attack on twin towers in the US, even separatists from Kashmir had lost hopes from Pakistan and latter’s support to them and one of them had openly told me about it. In the following year’s Pakistan’s role was reduced further in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“But when Manmohan Singh became PM in 2004, his approach towards Kashmir changed. I think he did not know how to manage the Kashmir issue. He spent more time on Pakistan and it is because the people around him told him so,” Dulat said.
“There was also chance for Manmohan Singh during 2006-07, but he did not visit Pakistan. We missed the window of taking peace talks ahead,” Dulat said.
Referring to former Pakistan army chief turned President General Pervez Musharraf, Dulat said, “There has not been a more reasonable person on Kashmir than Musharraf.”
“He had suggested a settlement across LoC but unfortunately it was not followed up seriously. Today, he has become a persona non-grata in Pakistan,” Dulat said.
On the Modi government, he said, “Looking at his massive support in Lok Sabha, he has a greater opportunity on Kashmir issue and if the government talks, holds dialogues, there will be some solutions.”