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Ex-RAW chief Dulat says 'muscular' Kashmir policy working, but 'idea of India' losing out

Dulat also said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s unfurling of the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk helped 'the idea of India' being 'promoted in Kashmir'
Last Updated : 24 February 2023, 17:03 IST

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Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat on Friday said while the Modi government’s “muscular policy” is working and “militancy was down”, the “idea of India” in Kashmir was being lost and that there is need for a “healing touch".

Speaking at a discussion about his book A Life in the Shadows, Dulat also said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s unfurling of the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk helped “the idea of India” being “promoted in Kashmir”.

“Government’s muscular policy is working, militancy is down… what is being lost in Kashmir is the idea of India,” Dulat, who headed the Kashmir group in Intelligence Bureau in the 1990s, said at a function held here at the 100-year-old Oxford Bookstore.

He also described Gandhi’s action of unfolding the tricolour in Srinagar, “regardless of whatever his motivations were”, was the “only time in recent years when the idea of India was promoted in Kashmir”.

He pointed out that the government had “promised giving statehood” back to Kashmir, but had not indicated a time frame for such a move.

The central government had carved up the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in August 2019, and scrapped Article 370 that gave a special status to the state, which had joined the Indian Union through an act of accession much after Independence.

Dulat, the well-known spymaster and author said, “I can guarantee Mr Narendra Modi (prime minister) that if statehood would be announced in Kashmir, he can travel in Srinagar in an open jeep without security.”

While agreeing that Kashmiris were reconciled to the abrogation of Article 370, which Dulat admitted “had been whittled down long ago”, he said there was need for a solution that could promote peace.

The former RAW chief said while there “will never be a final settlement, but a solution”, to bring about that situation, there was a “need for a healing touch”.

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Published 24 February 2023, 16:43 IST

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