Former RAW chief A S Dulat Sunday asserted that Pakistan’s role in the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is “hugely exaggerated” and that the problem can only be solved by engaging the Kashmiris and talking to them.
Dulat, who had served in Jammu and Kashmir during his service in the Intelligence Bureau, was at Military Literature Festival, during which he made the comments while taking part in a discussion on ‘Kashmir Quandary: Diagnosis and Remedy’.
Stating that the Army has always done a “first class job in Kashmir”, Dulat said the problem cannot be solved by force or military. “It is not a military problem. The one person who understood it was (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and his way is the only way. We have to engage and talk. We hugely exaggerate the role of Pakistan,” he said.
Taking part in the discussion moderated by former GOC 15 Corps, Lt Gen (retd) Ata Hasnain, Dulat dismissed an assertion by other panelists that the Kashmiris were increasingly coming under Pakistan’s influence. “Today the Kashmiri has no interest in Pakistan….The Kashmiris now say Pakistan apne aap ko nahin sambhal sakta to humein kya sambhalega (Pakistan cannot handle itself, so how will it handle us),” he said.
Lt Gen Hasnain said that it was not understood how the situation rapidly deteriorated in the Valley. Dulat responded by saying that in south Kashmir, the protestors come out with anger and disgust, which authorities are not able to control. “You have a former Norwegian PM going and talking to the Hurriyat. But Hurriyat cannot talk to Pak High Commissioner, it cannot talk to (J&K interlocutor) Dineshwar Sharma… What is the message they give? That they want to talk. But Delhi does not listen…,” he said.
The former RAW chief negated the notion that India needs to deal firmly with the situation in Kashmir like the Israelis. “Everybody talks, everybody negotiates and Israelis negotiate too… If Israelis can talk to Hamas, then why cannot we talk to the Hurriyat,” he asked.