‘Modi Is Milking It to the Extreme’: Key Quotes From Former RAW Chief AS Dulat’s Interview
Dulat spoke to The Caravan about terrorism, Balakot air strikes and the ongoing Indo-Pak tensions.
AS Dulat, the former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the special director of the Intelligence Bureau between 1999 and 2000 (during the Kargil war), recently spoke to Arshu John of The Caravan about the Pulwama attack, the Balakot airstrikes and the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. Here are a few notable quotes from that conversation:
– The immediate government reaction was, “If this is what you are going to do, we will show you.” So I think it was inevitable that something was going to happen, and it had to be something bigger than the previous surgical strike.
– Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to the Balakot strikes has been interesting — in particular, his offer for peace talks and willingness to discuss everything, including terrorism.
– Khan is signalling that Pakistan has done what it had to do after the air strikes. The message is: “We did not want to do this, but you provoked us, so we have done it.”
– In India, the feeling is that he is going to gain in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as a result of the response. The elections will be in the minds of certain people — that is also why I think something was going to give this time, and also why a response to the Pulwama attack was inevitable.
– India should take up Khan’s offer for peace talks, to end this whole thing.
– As far as the approaches taken by Modi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in addressing the situation in Kashmir, that is for everyone to see — there is no comparison.
– There is no military solution to Kashmir. When Modi became prime minister, there was a lot of hope in the valley. But we have messed up Kashmir in the last two and a half years, since July 2016.
– Whether it was Manmohan Singh or whether it was Vajpayee, there was very little that was said. Whatever had to be done was done quietly. Modi is milking it to the extreme.