Views of former R&AW chief
Critics of the government say the Kashmir situation is going from bad to worse. Do you agree?
Yes, the situation is turning worse. Because of alienation and the anger of youth, young Kashmiri minds have gone out of control. Villagers, students and even girls are coming out on the streets. This has never happened in the past. However, that terrorism, that intensity of violence and militancy that we saw in 1990 is not there now.
There were more guns then. Actual militancy was more then but today the situation is scarier. Today, they are proud of being stone-pelters. They are no longer hiding. Schoolgirls and women are coming
Do you agree with the government that Pakistan is behind the crisis in Kashmir?
Definitely it is. It goes back to last summer. When 9/11 happened President Bush had read the riot act to Pakistan. Since then Pakistan had withdrawn considerably. The uprising after the killing of Burhan Wani surprised Pakistan. They returned with a vengeance and ISI, Lashkar and Mujahideen are back.
In the last five years, Pakistan tried its best to unite all factions of Hurriyat.
Kashmir has turned into a challenge for the government. There is a demand for stronger action; do you agree?
Whenever and whatever actions are needed should be taken, but my point is there is no military solution for Kashmir. Anybody who had brains in our recent history understood it. Normally, I insist the Army should be kept away and the ground situation should be dealt with by J&K police and paramilitary.
(Adapted from The Indian Express)