Ex-spy chief of India: Invite Bajwa for talks

Former chief of India intel proposes dialogue with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani receives Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa at Parliament House in Islamabad on December 19, 2017.

Dubai: A former chief of India’s intelligence has asked New Delhi to invite Pakistani Army for talks to reduce tension on the international border between the two restive neighbours. 

A.S. Dulat, retired chief of RAW or Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external spy agency floated the proposal to invite Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for a dialogue.

Dulat said General Bajwa was making all the “right noises”, referring to his April remarks that disputes, including Kashmir, between India and Pakistan can be solved only through peace talks.

“We should invite General Bajwa, the army chief. He has been talking peace and also a lot of our frustration in our dialogue with Pakistan is because we feel frustrated by the armed forces or what we call the ‘deep state’ – the ISI or the army. Therefore, why not talk to the army chief directly? He is talking reasonably now. Why not invite the army chief, just an idea,” Dulat said.

India has maintained that it will talk only to the elected civilian leadership in Pakistan and has shunned talking to the Pakistani military. Dulat was RAW chief from 1999 to 2000 and was a close aide of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir affairs.

“There is a lot happening in the world around us and they are all taking interest in this particular region. The Americans have a big interest in Pakistan and in Afghanistan,” he said.

“Likewise now, the Chinese, the Russians and the Iranians have all developed interest and we need to take note of that and in that, I think, not talking to Pakistan will not help,” he said.

The unusual suggestion came days after the release of a book ‘The Spy Chronicles — RAW ISI And The Illusion Of Peace’ was released. The book is based on conversations between Dulat and former Pakistani spy chief General Asad Durrani. Moderated by an Indian journalist, the conversations took place in Istanbul, Bangkok and Kathmandu.
The conversations touched upon the flashpoint issue of Kashmir, Hafiz Saeed, Mumbai attacks and also US and Russia in the India-Pakistan relationship.

With inputs from IANS

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