LONDON: Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s spy agency, head Amarjit Singh Dulat says India is to be blamed for creating mess in the [Occupied] Kashmir in last 15 months.
He made these remarks during a debate with a former Pakistani head of intelligence in London on Friday night, urging the need for “imagination” and dialogue going forward.
“Heavy handedness has never worked in Kashmir…actually it doesn’t work anywhere as we’ve seen recently in Spain,” Mr. Dulat said at the start of the debate.
“I think if there is one message that comes out of Kashmir, not today, not yesterday or the day before but as far back as one can remember…you can achieve a lot through love and compassion but you can never achieve it by force. That is the mistake we have created in the last 15 months,” Mr Dulat said.
Kashmir is part of India, an integral part of India and its not going anywhere but we need to deal with Kashmir in a more civilized manner.”
Opening the debate Ehsan-ul-Haq, the former director general of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence said the situation in Kashmir, which had remained the oldest unresolved international dispute and the core issue in India-Pakistan relation, had taken a ”turn for the worse” since last July.
He said security forces had tackled protest with singular “ruthlessness” and flagged the “shocking and indiscriminate” use of pellet guns.
“The Kashmir dispute cannot be wished away…if left unresolved it will keep returning as a crisis with increased intensity,” he said adding that there were no problems between the two countries that couldn’t be resolved “through dialogue.”
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his extremist allies are using harsh rhetoric against Pakistan to electoral and political advantage,” said the ex-Pakistan intelligence chief.
Earlier this month, former finance minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha has said that India has “lost people in Jammu and Kashmir emotionally”.
“I am looking at the alienation of the masses of people in Jammu and Kashmir. That is something which bothers me the most,” he said in an interview to The Wire.
We have lost the people emotionally… You just have to visit the valley to realise that they have lost faith in us,” said Sinha.