Kashmiris have come to terms with Article 370 having gone for good: ex-Raw chief Dulat

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Kashmir has come to terms with the fact that Article 370 has gone for good and this provides an opportunity for them to move forward, A. S. Dulat told The Hindu

Kashmir has come to terms with the fact that Article 370 has gone for good and this provides an opportunity for them to move forward, A. S. Dulat told The Hindu

Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief A. S. Dulat, an old hand on Kashmir, on Friday said people of Kashmir have come to terms with the fact that Article 370 has gone for good and this provides an opportunity for them to move forward.

“These are extraordinary times, extraordinarily good times for Kashmir to move forward. I am not suggesting that a Kashmiri should be made to feel defeated. At the same time, a Kashmiri wants to come out and get on with his life. If there is one dream a Kashmiri has today it is normalcy,” Mr. Dulat told The Hindu.

He said Kashmiris, notwithstanding the rhetoric and the case being before the Supreme Court, have come to the terms with the fact that Article 370 is gone for good.

“Even I now believe that Article 370 was nothing but a fig leaf. The whole thing had ended with the 1975 accord. In fact, Article 370 makes no difference to any resolution to Kashmir. Though psychologically it did make a difference in Kashmir,” Mr. Dulat, who served in Kashmir when militancy was at its peak, said.

He said even Pakistan will accept the new reality. “I remember (Former Pakistan President) Pervez Musharraf would say anything acceptable to Kashmiris should be acceptable to Pakistan. If Kashmiris have accepted it, why shouldn’t Pakistan,” he added.

On the government’s iron-hand approach to contain militancy, he said the muscular policy has worked to some extent. “However, I don’t think ultimately it would provide a solution. The solution I always believed lies in engagement and revival of the political and democratic process When will happen then, nobody knows,” Mr. Dulat said.

On the crackdown on separatists and dislodging the Hurriyat from the scene in Kashmir, Mr. Dulat said, “The Hurriyat represented a certain school of thought. I think that still exists in Kashmir. In fact, there is a gentleman, who has been under house arrest for three years, has a role in the future.”

Mr. Dulat was referring to Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

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