Former R&AW chief expresses regret over failed talks with Geelani

New Delhi: Former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief AS Dulat has expressed regret over failed talks between the Indian administration and Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

In an interview with a Pakistani television network, Dulat said that Geelani was, for many years, the 'only credible voice on the streets of Kashmir', adding that his not talking to the separatist leader was a 'grave error'. The former R&AW chief, however, noted that the situation was now going out of the control of the Hurriyat, stating that that is not good for anybody.

Dulat further said that while Islamabad claims that India is not bothered for the wellbeing of Kashmir, Pakistan too is not bothered for the same.

Dulat also revealed that he used to say that let the Indians talk to Hurriyat, after that Pakistan can and then whatever settlement is reached can be claimed by Islamabad as their victory, but then noted that for such a scenario to play out, a level of trust has to be established.

Denying claims of interfering in the peace process, Dulat further stated that the disruptions have occurred due to the political decisions and cross purposes of Islamabad and New Delhi. Dulat also revealed that former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was of the opinion that 'terror camps' should be bombed, however adding that the National Conference leader may not have necessary meant it literally, but adding that such was his thinking.

The former R&AW chief also disclosed that separatist leader Shabir Shah never received a passport because he had never filled the form and thus never visited Pakistan, however adding that perhaps that was a reason because he had never wanted to.

Dulat also revealed that Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahudin had requested via the Information Bureau that his son Wahid be shifted from a college in Jammu to one in Srinagar, adding that he disagreed with the 'security concerns' raised by him.

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