news Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 05:30
[Excerpts from Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years] In his recently released book Kashmir: The Vajapayee Years co-authored by Aditya Sinha, former Research and Analysis Wing chief AS Dulat speaks about his stint in the spy agency and its role in the Kashmir conflict with candidness rare for an Indian bureaucrat. Speaking about the initiatives of the Indian government on the Kashmir issue during the Vajpayee years and track-II dialogues with various stakeholders, Dulat defend two strategies which he thinks serves India’s interests the best, and help maintain peace – dialogue and money. Following the recent operation in Myanmar by the Indian Army against insurgents, there has been renewed talk of a tit-for-tat policy, that India must kill in return for killings by a hostile army or terrorists. Dulat however says that an eye-for-an-eye policy might not always be the best, and who sustained dialogue is the best way forward, especially in Kashmir. Further, Dulat openly states that everybody makes money in Kashmir, and that the Indian state's policy to throw money at seperatists and Kashmiri politicians or leaders is perhaps the most effective tools. Here are some excerpts. What sensible people do: talk, talk and talk That brings up the question that if we didn’t have a tit-for-tat policy to kill, then how did we get people on our side. And the simple answer is: selling peace through a sustained dialogue. There is no better way. People may find it difficult to believe that a reputed Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevy, who incidentally was my contemporary and whom I met in Tel Aviv in 1999, was a firm votary of dialogue. He understood that the Palestinian militant faction, Hamas, could neither be demolished nor cowed down and that talking was the only way out. That is what sensible people do and that is what we did; talk, talk and talk almost endlessly. In the end it is all about human relationships; little gestures like a surprise birthday cake go a long way in building friendships. Corrupting a person is a lot more ethical than killing him Using money to win people over is perhaps the most effective tool at the disposal of intelligence officers not just in Kashmir, and not just all over the subcontinent, but all over the world. Most agents are paid agents. If in Kashmir, for instance you find someone who is working for the ISI, you just offer a lot more money that it does. Perhaps he will be afraid of getting killed by the ISI, but at the very least you have neutralised him. Corrupting a person by giving him money is not only a lot more ethical than killing him, but a lot smarter in the long run.   Excerpts obtained through special arrangement from publisher HarperCollins. Book Price: Rs 599  
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