Former RAW chief AS Dulat has slammed PM Narendra Modi, saying he has learnt no lessons from former PM AB Vajpayee’s handling of the Kashmir issue.
In Amarjit Singh Dulat felt that Modi’s policy of ‘not engaging’ in a dialogue with Pakistan was wrong. he asserted that continuous dialogue was essential, as was done during Vajpayee’s tenure. “It’s a pity that Modi failed to learn it from Vajpayee,” said Dulat referring to Kashmir diplomacy.
On the other hand, Dulat, who served as the head of RAW from 1999 to 2000, praised Vajpayee, saying he was the first PM who understood the issue of Jammu and Kashmir after Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Vajpayee was a leader and a politician and Modi should learn politics and it is the differentiating issue between the two. Modi in my humble opinion has to learn politics and it is pity he did not learn it from Vajpayee who is the greatest Indian politician.
But Dulat went a step further. Controversially, he also asserted that even former PMManmohan Singh was a better leader than Narendra Modi, because Singh made ‘every effort’ when it came to resolving the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dulat felt Modi should attend the upcoming SAARC meeting in Islamabad scheduled for early 2016.
Dulat agreed with Farooq Abdullah, who said that the only way forward on the Kashmir issue was a dialogue with Pakistan. He had said that the entire Indian army could not overcome terrorism in Kashmir, and hence dialogue was the only solution.
Dulat also said that he shared the views of former home minister P Chidambaram and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should be repealed in Srinagar and Budgam.
Dulat, who is a member of the National Security Advisory Board, said that the dreaded terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has no real influence in Kashmir, and people have understood that ISI is just using Kashmiris to their advantage.
“Kashmiris harbour a sense of alienation, frustration and anger. One should not misread the waving of Pak and ISIS flags during protests,” he said.
Dulat asserted that Kashmiris only want peace. He was speaking on the sidelines of a public discourse on his book, ‘Kashmir, The Vajpayee Years’.