In his memoir ‘Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years’ Amarjit Singh Dulat explains his ‘ mission’ candidly and with a sense of pride, ‘ If anybody…has any doubts about the path I took- of talking, talking, talking- and how unbeatable dialogue is as both a tactic and a strategy then I will tell them what Agha Sahib (Kashmiri educationist Agha Ashraf Ali) said to me - you were sent to disrupt the Kashmir movement in the friendliest possible manner’.
There is no doubt that the ‘mission’ the former RAW chief undertook followed the script of Delhi. He achieved what he was sent for. And ‘in the friendliest possible manner’.
What Dulat has divulged is nothing new. The ‘exposures’ have once again revealed how the successive governments in Delhi are obsessively focused on managing the conflict rather than resolving it.
Every page of book shows the disgusting adhocist approach of tiding over the immediate crisis to consolidate its position. There is not a shade of honest endeavor of addressing the festering sore. An engagement is undertaken more to discredit the stake holders than to seek their cooperation seriously for resolving the dispute.
The ‘dialogue initiative’, as the book shows, is nothing but a trap to ‘disrupt the movement’. There is no iota of sincerity behind the initiative. Indian prime minister announces his readiness to ‘talks’ with ‘sky is the limit’ flexibility, but as Dulat vomits out the behind-the-scene largesse was meant to rope in Shabir Shah for 1996 elections. Dulat writes ‘ we really massaged his ego, encouraging him to think…that we wanted to see him as chief minister’.
They lured Hizb commander, Majid Dar, to ‘talks’ who returned to Kashmir from Muzafarabad and announced ceasefire. The ‘talks’ achieved nothing but the Hizb split, a major achievement for India. Dar and his faction commanders were subsequently killed, some of them even by Indian forces.
Going, what he says ‘ beyond the traditional counter-insurgency brief’, Dulat boasts of planning and executing fissures in the unified resistance platform. The ‘moderate’ Huryat leaders were coaxed into ‘dialogue’. But the ‘ dialogue’ only exhausted them to desperation. The goal achieved (split in Huryat) ‘ moderates’ lost the sheen and the warm embrace. One time they were glamorized as ‘genuine representatives’, munched after they are treated with disdain.
Leave alone the resistance leadership, Dulat’s account establishes that even views of those flouting with ‘people’s mandate’ and used as democratic facelift for India’s claim on Kashmir are not respected. Their ‘within the ambit of Indian constitution’ demands coming from the floor of assembly are rejected. The trail of treachery that Dulat mentions confirms that promises are not to keep but to violate. Where Shabir spared his integrity in not taking the bait, Farooq Abdullah jumped in to prove his Indianess. He was promised autonomy for his participation in elections. The Indian spy, effusive in praise for Abdullah, writes, ‘ Farooq is the tallest and most meaningful Kashmiri Leader. His nationalistic and secular credentials can never be doubted. He was the first chief minister to adopt POTA, which some people in India say is a law that has been misused disproportionately against Muslims…’. But same Indian loyalist was not forgiven though he surrendered his autonomy demand. Dulat says he was replaced by his son Omar on false promise of making him vice-president, for now Omar was their favorite.
While at various world forums Delhi displays ballot sanctity and sovereignty on question of Kashmir, in reality, as RAW man’s anecdote shows the mandate has no worth in the eyes of Indian rulers. In one such story Brijesh Mishra, then PM Vajpayee’s adviser, sends a message to chief minister Abdullah through his son, Omar who was then a Union minister, ‘ …Convey to him that if he is not willing to cooperate then we have our own ways of doing’( that is throw him out). In another story, mentions Dulat , another Indian by conviction, Mehbooba Mufti was not allowed to share the stage with PM Vajpayee on his visit to Kashmir for ‘suspicion’ of her ‘militant links’. That much trust for those who sold mind, soul, conscience, everything to please Delhi.
Dulat then wants us to come and pay tribute for the ‘liberal’ India. If Geelani is today alive it is because they did not resort to ‘tit for tat policy’, even when ISI would ‘bump them off’. The reason that Geelani was spared was because martyred Geelani they feared would be more dangerous than the living aged Geelani. But the ‘liberal’ India was not so liberal and generous when its security agencies bumped off hundreds of innocent Kashmiris extra-judicially. These are all recorded. The soft-spoken spymaster of Indian Establishment is shy of presenting this other side of the story. One thing more. When he says that they had a choice of ‘tit for tat’ but ‘a choice never made of’, Adriane Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, who co-authored ‘The meadow’ would be bursting with laughter.
Some of the ‘disclosures’ are a deliberate attempt of maligning image of certain individuals. The allegation that MBBS admission was a government favor for son of Sallahudin proved a big lie. The victim came with the strong contention that he secured the seat on his own merit standing at serial No 92. The only ‘ favor’ he got was he was transferred from Jammu, where he felt threatened, to Srinagar in exchange.
Tail piece: Dulat in defining character of a Kashmiri alleges that a Kashmiri ‘ rarely speaks the truth to you’. He also quotes Mishra as saying that’ the only thing straight in Kashmir is a poplar tree’. Sir, it may be so because Delhi has no patience to listen to unalloyed truth. Seven decades of bending leaves only poplar to pop up. Dapan Vanhav Panin Ahwal, Asih Ma Layeh Aazadee (the goddess of freedom I fear for speaking truth), screamed Mehjoor in Sheikh Abdullah’s time, to greet ‘ freedom’ post 1947.
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