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LONDON: RAW’s former chief Amarjit Singh Dulat (left) hugs ISI’s ex-director general Ehsanul Haq during the programme.
LONDON: RAW’s former chief Amarjit Singh Dulat (left) hugs ISI’s ex-director general Ehsanul Haq during the programme.

KARACHI: India has created a “mess” in disputed Kashmir over the past 15 months, India’s former intelligence chief was quoted as saying in an article published by The Hindu.

“It is high time we start talking,” said Amarjit Singh Dulat, former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), during a debate with former head of Inter-Services Intel­ligence (ISI) Ehsanul Haq in London, according to quoting the Indian newspaper.

The event — ‘Spy­mas­­ters Speak: Can Intel­ligence Agencies Do Good?’ — which brought together the two top figures from both intelligence services, was organised by the London School of Economics’ South Asia Forum in collaboration with LSE Pakistan Deve­­lopment Society on Friday night.

Opening the debate, Mr Haq said the situation in India-held Kashmir had taken a “turn for the worse” since last July. He said Indian forces had tackled protests with singular ruthlessness and indiscriminate use of pellet guns, adding that “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his extremist allies are using harsh rhetoric against Pakistan to electoral and political advantage”.

“If left unresolved, it [Kashmir dispute] will keep returning as a crisis with increased intensity — there are no problems between the two countries that can’t be resolved through dialogue,” The Hindu quoted him as saying.

Concurring with the former ISI chief, Mr Dulat said, “Heavy handedness has never worked in Kashmir […] actually it doesn’t work anywhere as we’ve seen recently in Spain. Kashmir needs to be discussed and discussed upfront, not only between us but between Delhi and Srinagar.”

Relations between India and Pakistan with regard to Kashmir have been tense recently with frequent incidents of shellingalong the Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan forcefully took up the issue of India-held Kashmir and the human rights violations committed by India at the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the 36th session of Human Rights Council.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi had told the General Assembly that India’s military occupation of Kashmir was illegal as the UN Security Council had, in over a dozen resolutions, decided that the dispute must be resolved by enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own destiny through a UN-supervised plebiscite.

She had also urged the international community to stop India from ceasefire violations on the LoC. Pakistan wanted resolution of all outstanding issues through talks, she said, adding that India would have to give up the policy of terrorism.

Ms Lodhi recalled that India’s brutal occupation of Kashmir has killed over 100,000 innocent Kash­miris, saying although India had launched a campaign of brutality inside Kashmir — including shooting and blinding of innocent Kashmiri children with pellet guns — yet, it had failed to subdue these Kashmiri children, women and youth who come out on the streets almost daily to demand that India get out of occupied Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2017