Former chief of RA&W, A S Daulat says, Kashmir’s atmosphere is getting worse

In the tenure of PM Vajpayee, Daulat was an advisor on Kashmir. He was a special intelligence officer who served in Kashmir in 1980’s. Former Research & Analysis Wing chief A S Daulat’s association with Kashmir has been over three decades.

In an interview, published by Indian express, regarding Kashmir’s situation then and now, can be summarised in these prominent conclusions.

What he says about the current situation in the valley

The situation in Pakistan is becoming worse day by day. People are not fearful of coming out from their houses, even the girls are now heading towards stone pelting. These youngsters are neither after of dying nor of military actions against them. The condition in Kashmir in 1990 was of terrorism and militancy, but the situation now seems to be abnormal.

What measures should be taken to tackle the situation

He says that the solution to this distressing situation is ‘talk to Kashmiris’. Those who say that Kashmir will go to Pakistan, Daulat replies Come on, 70 years have passed by, Come on kahan gaya Kashmir? Kahan jayega Kashmir? Na Kashmir kahin jayega, na bichara Kashmiri. He says that Kashmiris don’t want to go to Pakistan, for them Pakistan is not their destiny anymore. India should trust Kashmiris and they should have hope in them. Moreover, they should not regard them as anti-national but should talk to them.

What does he think about progression of radical Islam in Kashmir

He says that it’s not the elders who are keen to increase the radical Islam, but it’s the hopelessness in youth that has them carried to the idea of being radical in the religion. If you talk to the elders about bringing back Pandits in there, they would be happy. But if you ask youth, they think otherwise. The dissent can only be deciphered through talking to them.

How does he see the efforts of India in improving the relations with Pakistan

According to him, it is far easier to speak with Pakistan than to speak with Kashmiris. The conditions have become so bad that youngsters in Kashmir don’t care about how would their parents react to know that they pelt stone, nor their parents are aware, what their daughter or son are up to. Modiji started well by visiting Pakistan. India and Pakistan should talk over it regardless of the incidents happening here and there.

Is is correct that Pakistan is behind this crises

Definitely, it is. It goes back to last summer. When 9/11 happened President Bush had read the riot act to Pakistan. Since then Pakistan had withdrawn considerably… The uprising after the killing of Burhan Wani surprised Pakistan. They returned with a vengeance… ISI, Lashkar and Mujahideen are back… In the last five years, Pakistan tried its best to unite all factions of Hurriyat. They failed but now they have got together because this Indian government doesn’t even look at them… When we refused to even talk, what options do Kashmiri leaders have? They have only one fall-back position: show the green flag to Delhi. It’s a sad situation.

How does he see for a stronger action against Kashmiris

The military is not a solution for the situation. It’s the state that has failed completely. The ground situation should be handled by paramilitary and the Police.

What is the option now, his opinion

The centre should support Mehbooba Mufti. When she was in Delhi, nobody was ready to hear her. PM Modi should show his support towards her only then the situation could get better.

How can Kulbhushan Jadhav’s hanging affect the situation

He said that Pakistan has handled the situation very immaturely, these matters are quietly handled between the intelligence agencies. The situation will affect the situation badly if he is hanged.Unfortunately, we don’t have communications between our intel agencies. The good communication is between the NSAs. He thinks at that level the issue should be discussed discreetly. He is sure they are doing it and he does not expect Jadhav to be hanged.