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Ceasefire violations, militancy, and diplomatic tussles between India and Pakistan have been at elevated levels over the past two years, as the space for dialogue has narrowed. This discussion will seek to build on the conversation initiated in the recently released book The Spy Chronicles and emphasise the importance of engagement as well as propose some ways forward from the current situation.
The Spy Chronicles is the first book to bring together former chiefs of the intelligence agencies of rival nations. AS Dulat headed India's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) in 1999-2000, while General Asad Durrani helmed Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1990-91. While adversaries in their formal positions, outside of work the two forged a unique friendship. In The Spy Chronicles, they unite for conversations, moderated by senior journalist Aditya Sinha (former Editor-in-Chief of the New Indian Express and DNA). The book covers a wide range of topics including Kashmir, the political leadership in their respective nations, the politics of war, and the workings of the spy agencies themselves.
Farooq Abdullah is a current Member of Parliament for Srinagar. He is the President of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party and has served thrice as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
AS Dulat was Director of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in 1999-2000. He served in Kashmir as Joint Director in the Intelligence Bureau in 1988-1990, during the height of the insurgency, and was the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Kashmir in 2000-2004.
Asad Durrani (via Skype) was Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1990-1991 and Director General of Military Intelligence in 1988-1989. After leaving the Pakistan Army, he served as Ambassador to Germany (1994-1997) and Saudi Arabia (2000-2002).
Wajid Shamsul Hasan was Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK in 1994-1996 and 2008-2014. He also served as Advisor to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.