Former Indian spymaster AS Dulat on Monday claimed that Pakistan has given up on Kashmir and the message coming out from Kashmir is that the stakeholders want peace and a dialogue with New Delhi, reported The Tribune.
“Kashmir problem cannot be solved by force because it is not a military issue but a political one, the report quoted Dulat as having said.
“The only way forward is to engage and talk with the stakeholders,” according to the report he said.
“Today we have a situation where a former Norwegian Prime Minister goes to Kashmir and speaks to the Hurriyat, but the Hurriyat cannot speak to the Pakistani High Commissioner or to New Delhi’s special representative in Kashmir. However, the message from the Hurriyat is clear that they want peace and dialogue,” according to report Dulat said at a session on “Kashmir Quandary: Diagnosis and Remedy” at the Military Literature Festival.
“While we continue to exaggerate the role of Pakistan in the Kashmir issue, today the Kashmiri has no interest in Pakistan. It was only till about 1994-95 that Pakistan was a real player and was behind virtually everything that happened,” Dulat, who headed India’s external intelligence agency, Research, and Analysis Wing, in 1999-2000, remarked.
“Today things are in control, but the political process has to start. The question, however, being raised in several quarters is how to start the political process as they don’t have any political workers on the ground level,” the report quoted Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee (retd), former Chief of Staff, Central Command, as saying.
“Things in Kashmir were fine till about 1989 and thereafter, the military created a situation four or five times where the political or ideological process could have been started, but it was never done and the situations were abandoned for the armed forces to handle,” he added according to report.
The Tribune quoted Lt Gen Gautam Banerjee as having said the Kashmiris know that they can never get separated from India but they act in a rebellious manner because it has become a culture due to a societal breakdown. A social and political transformation process has to be initiated.
“Pointing out that today the local content in terrorism is more than the foreign content, Lt Gen Satish Dua (retd), former GOC of 15 Corps, said by pulling out from South Kashmir early, “we ceded space for terrorism to spurt and that space has to be filled,” the report said.
“Stating that Burhan Wani, the neutralised terrorist, was a carefully created phenomenon who became an icon for the local youth, Lt Gen Dua said Kashmir is hungry for young leaders, but there are no such leaders with whom the younger generation can connect to,” reported The Tribune.
“Stating that the situation in Kashmir is more dangerous today than it was earlier,” Lt Gen MC Bhandari (retd) said. “Kashmir is not a security problem but an amalgamation of historical, political, ideological issues and a clash of egos on both sides. The military can only be a part of the solution,” The Tribune quoted Lt Gen MC Bhandari (retd) as saying.