India has created a "mess" in Kashmir in the past 15 months, India's former Intelligence chief was quoted as saying in an article by The Hindu.
Opening the debate Ehsan-ul-Haq, the former Director General of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, said the situation in Kashmir, which had remained the oldest unresolved global dispute and the core issue in India-Pakistan relations, had taken a turn for the worse since last July.
Two former spy chiefs of Pakistan and India have stressed on the urgent need of diplomatic talks and communications between the two neighbours, terming it essential and helpful for their national interest. "Pakistan is only a convenient fall back position for Kashmiris", he said.
Addressing a function organised by the London School of Economics' South Asia Forum, he said India's strategy of not engaging with Pakistan made no sense at all.
He said Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's arrest and revelations in Pakistan provided irrefutable evidence of India's involvement in Balochistan and other parts and the use of terrorist means to harm Pakistan. Shedding light on Indian atrocities in Kashmir, he said that over the period of around one year, through the use of pellet guns, more than 100 Kashmiri youth have been martyred by Indian army. He said that India has borne the brunt of terrorism and "Pakistan is also suffering because of terrorism". "Kashmir's indigenous struggle has moved to a new generation". Even in worst days of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency and KGB talked to each other, he pointed out.
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Earlier this month, former finance minister andsenior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha has said that India has "lost people in Jammu and Kashmir emotionally". "There's no reason why Pakistan and Indian agencies can not cooperate. Let us think ahead -not just of the immediate crisis that faces us -let us think ahead with compassion".
Answering questions about Pakistan providing "safe havens" to militants as accused by US President Donald Trump and some foreign media outlets, Gen Ehsan said that the countries decide about such situations as per their circumstances, giving examples of Northern Ireland, Britain and the American and Afghan approach of dealing with Taliban and added that Great Britain called Irish Republicans terrorists but brought normalisation after deradicalising and mainstreaming them.
Haq said he was encouraged by the continuity of democracy in Pakistan and that 2014 sit-in by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and allies was not to seek military intervention but to seek "good governance, better system and accountability?" He said that India was not ready to talk to Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir because it considered Kashmir as its integral part.
India hasn't played a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
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