Imran Khan our best bet after Pervez Musharraf: Ex-RAW chief AS Dulat on India-Pakistan ties
A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that he has asked his government to ascertain the status of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case in his country’s interest to resolve the matter, India’s former intelligence chief AS Dulat said that the head of state deserves a chance and time.
“Imran is our best bet after (former Pakistan president) general Pervez Musharraf. He may be a puppet in the hands of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI or the army, but we need to give him time and a chance to prove his intentions,” said Dulat, a former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), at a session on the wisdom of spies during the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Lt Gen Kamal Davar (retd), the first director general of the Defence Intelligence Agency, agreed with Dulat on Imran, saying: “We feel he is a puppet but he is a self-respecting man. Don’t push him into a corner. He can change things in the subcontinent.”
“Musharraf was the villain of Kargil, but there has not been a more reasonable leader in Pakistan in 30 years. It’s sad that once he disappeared a lot less was done (for India-Pakistan ties),” said Dulat, who has co-authored a book, The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, with former ISI chief Asad Durrani.
“Talks are the only way forward for both nuclear-armed nations. I would even suggest an institutional arrangement between the intelligence agencies of both countries,” he said.
Panellist Lt Gen Sanjiv Langer (retd) drew attention towards neighbouring China. “We should take a look in detail at China. It is a different paradigm,” he said.
KC Verma, a former R&AW director, moderated the session and said, “The Pakistan head of state does not know what the ISI is up to but the R&AW does not want that latitude. It belongs to the Indian government. An intelligence agency is an instrument of the state to be used for state purpose.”