In interview, Dulat talks of his secret meeting with Farooq last month; says Omar will be next CM
On February 9, he received a phone call from the home ministry saying he was free to go to Kashmir. Dulat says this phone call would only have happened with the knowledge and concurrence of Doval and this means the NSA was fully in the loop
Srinagar: Former R&AW chief A.S. Dulat, in an interview, has
revealed his secret meeting with Farooq Abdullah during his detention that may
have finally led to the NC’s president’s release from the over 7-month long detention.
Farooq, whose detention in August
last year had created ripples in political circles and in the parliament, was
released on Friday after authorities revoked his PSA.
In an interview with The Wire, Dulat revealed some interesting details of his “secret contacts” with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah.
Dulat, in the interview, said he
visited Srinagar on February 12 to meet Farooq and that the government had
cleared the visit and, additionally, national security adviser Ajit Doval was
fully aware of it.
Speaking to Karan Thapar for The
Wire, Dulat claimed that Farooq “will respond if the Centre reaches out and
that he has always done so.”
Talking about Omar Abdullah, Dulat
said the present government was even more comfortable with Omar than with
“With great confidence, Dulat said
said Omar Abdullah would be the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, i.e.
whenever the state elections are held,” The Wire interview read.
Dulat also talked about how his secret
visit came to happen and the sort of clearance and support he got from the
government in Delhi as well as the Intelligence Bureau in Srinagar.
Farooq was detained the day the
Modi government announced the scrapping of Article 370 last August.
Dulat told The Wire that his
involvement began when he spoke to Farooq on October 31 to enquire how he was.
“He asked if he could come and meet
him and Abdullah said that depends on the authorities,” read The Wire interview.
As per it, Dulat then contacted a
former colleague in the IB in Srinagar who said he would need to get clearance
Dulat then contacted sources in the
home ministry in Delhi but they did not give him permission to meet Farooq
“However, on February 9, he
received a phone call from the home ministry saying he was free to go to
Kashmir. Dulat says this phone call would only have happened with the knowledge
and concurrence of Doval and this means the NSA was fully in the loop,” the
Wire report read.
Although Dulat told The Wire his
visit to Srinagar was a “private” one, he revealed that the IB in Srinagar
provided transport to take him from Srinagar airport to Abdullah’s residence at
Gupkar Road and back to the airport.
“It was a short trip and Dulat was
back home in Delhi by 6.30 pm the same day. Shortly after his return, he was
rung by the home ministry to find out how the trip had gone,” the report said.
Dulat told The Wire that he spoke
to Farooq Abdullah late on the night of March 13, some six hours after the
latter’s release, and that Abdullah told him he would probably come to Delhi in
15 days. This means Abdullah is likely to miss the present session of
On February, Farooq, as per Dulat, had told him how particularly concerned he was about the use of PSA against his son, Omar Abdullah, and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti.
Dulat said Abdullah could not
understand why this was done.
“He says Abdullah also expressed
concern about the impact of the reading down of Article 370 and all the
subsequent developments in Kashmir on his grandchildren. He said he himself was
fully committed to India and had brought up his children in the same way. But
now he did not know how to answer questions his grandchildren may ask,” the transcribed
Dulat told The Wire that Farooq
Abdullah looked tired and was certainly not looking his best. He confirmed that
he has had cataract operations in both eyes in the last four weeks.
The meeting with Farooq lasted for
an hour during which time he also met Abdullah’s wife, Molly, and his daughter,
Safia, and had lunch.
Dulat told The Wire he had been
informed that 50 foreigners (Pakistanis, Afghans, Arabs, Turks) had crossed the
Line of Control from Pakistan three or four months ago and seem to have
About the newly formed Jammu and
Kashmir Apni Party of Altaf Bukhari, Dulat called it a ‘King’s Party’ and said “it
can never replace the emotional hold of the National Conference on the Kashmiri
Finally, Dulat said that if Ajit
Doval were to ask for his advice about what next steps the government should
take, his answer would be “talk, talk, talk”. Dulat said the government must
talk to all mainstream political parties as well as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Dulat
also said he would tell the government to start talking to Pakistan. (Courtesy: