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The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace

 
A. S. Dulat (Author) Aditya Sinha (Author) Asad Durrani (Author)
Synopsis

Pointing to the horizon where the sea and sky are joined, he says, ‘It is only an illusion because they can’t really meet, but isn’t it beautiful, this union which isn’t really there.’ – SAADAT HASAN MANTO Sometime in 2016, a series of dialogues took place which set out to find a meeting ground, even if only an illusion, between A.S. Dulat and Asad Durrani. One was a former chief of RAW, India’s external intelligence agency, the other of ISI, its Pakistani counterpart. As they could not meet in their home countries, the conversations, guided by journalist Aditya Sinha, took place in cities like Istanbul, Bangkok and Kathmandu. On the table were subjects that have long haunted South Asia, flashpoints that take lives regularly. It was in all ways a deep dive into the politics of the subcontinent, as seen through the eyes of two spymasters. Among the subjects: Kashmir, and a missed opportunity for peace; Hafiz Saeed and 26/11; Kulbhushan Jadhav; surgical strikes; the deal for Osama bin Laden; how the US and Russia feature in the India-Pakistan relationship; and how terror undermines the two countries’ attempts at talks. When the project was first mooted, General Durrani laughed and said nobody would believe it even if it was written as fiction. At a time of fraught relations, this unlikely dialogue between two former spy chiefs from opposite sides-a project that is the first of its kind-may well provide some answers.

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About the authors

A. S. Dulat

A. S. Dulat served as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India's spy agency, under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He later joined Vajpayee's Prime Minister's Office (PMO), where his job was to 'monitor, manage and direct' the government of India's peace initiative in Kashmir.

Dulat was born in Sialkot, Punjab, in December 1940. With India's Partition, his father, Justice Shamsher Singh Dulat, ICS, was posted to Delhi. Dulat was educated at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and Punjab University, Chandigarh, after which he joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1965, and then the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in 1969, where he served for almost thirty years.

At IB he headed the Kashmir Group during the turbulent 1990s till he joined and headed R&AW. Since leaving the government in 2004, he has been active on the track two circuit. During service, he accumulated a vast reservoir of goodwill with Kashmiris of all shades. As Jane's Intelligence Digest put it in 2001, 'Well known for his social skills, Dulat prefers dialogue to clandestine manoeuvres.'

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Aditya Sinha

Aditya Sinha has been a journalist since February 1987. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the New Indian Express and DNA. His published work includes the biographies Farooq Abdullah: Kashmir's Prodigal Son (1996) and Death of Dreams: A Terrorist's Tale (2000).

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Bibliographic information

Title The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.05.2018
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789352779253
length 344p.