Pune, Apr 23: Amarjit Singh Dulat, former chief of the research and analysis wing (RAW) and the former special director of the intelligence bureau (IB), criticised India for not being able to “accommodate Kashmir”. He was speaking on Kashmir and the need of the hour to solve the problem, while delivering a lecture at Patrakar Bhavan in Pune, organised by Kakasaheb Gadgil Pratishthan.
Dulat shared his wisdom about the politics in Jammu and Kashmir. He opined that the local parties have realised long ago that one party can never form a majority government. “Kashmir has come full circle. Kashmiris wont agree with this statement easily. I say that the next election, I see Omar Abdullah as the chief minister. No party in the valley can form a single majority government. Next coalition in Kashmir will be what it was in 1886-1887, a Congress-National Congress coalition. That is the way I look at it,” Dulat said.
“I do not think we understand how much a Kashmiri wants to talk and how much he wants to be heard. When there is so much chaos, no one wants to hear anything. Kashmiris do not want much. The azadi (freedom) that they want, if I could try and describe it, is accommodation. They want their honour, dignity and most of all, justice. Such a big country like India, can we not accommodate one little Muslim majority state within the Indian unit? Can we not give them a promise, this great country of ours? That is all that is required,” said the former officer of the Indian police service (IPS).
Anant Gadgil, Congress member and member of the legislative council, was present at the lecture, along with member of the pratishthan, Dr Mukesh Tulpule.
Dulat spoke fondly about not only Kakasaheb Gadgil, Anant Gadgil’s grandfather and a freedom fighter, but also about Sanjay Nahar who was present in the audience. The venue was teeming with people sitting on the floor and standing as well.
Speaking about the backlash of his statement, Dulat said, “I know that when this appears in the press, I know I will be challenged. Kya baat kar rahe ho? Yeh azadi hai kya? (What are you saying? Is this freedom?) Kashmiir mujhe kahenge, kya mujhe accomodation mangi hai? Isliye itni jaanien di hai? (Kashmiris will ask me, did we ask for accommodation? Is that why we gave up so many lives?) And in Delhi, no one will listen anyway. But, this is it, the basic requirement.”
Throughout the lecture Dulat exclaimed, more than once, that accession is not an option for the country. Speaking about an old conversation with Yashwant Sinha, who has also spent considerable time in the valley, Dulat said, “He went to the valley this one time and upon returning he said that we are losing the valley. I said , no, we are not losing the valley. We will never lose the valley. Kashmir will always remain in India, but someone should at least try to understand it.”
Dulat has been a long-time advocate for dialogue with Kashmiri separatists.
Dulat asked Tasaduq Mufti, the brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to forge an alliance with Omar Abdullah and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the interest of suffering people of Valley.
“When Tasaduq Mufti feels that his party has ditched the people of Kashmir and are partners in crime with BJP, then he should enter into a dialogue with Omar Abdullah and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for sake of people of Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti will have problems with this triple alliance but Tasaduq can do it if he really feels the pain of Valley people,” Dulat told news agency CNS over the phone.
“I am not saying it first time but in Pune during my address, I expressed the same opinion and appealed Tasaduq, Mirwaiz and Omar Abdullah to join hands. If they join hands, things will change. There will be a dialogue and that will be a fruitful one,” Dulat said.
“When Double Farooq Accord became a reality, whey can’t Double Omar plus Tasaduq who is sincere in his dealings. Among the three, one has to take the initiative. These three young faces can do wonders for the people of Kashmir. Their alliance will strengthen the dialogue process. The dialogue they start will certainly bear positive results,” Dulat added.