Burhan Wani was an icon, says ex-RAW chief

Published: August 29, 2016
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AS Dulat says anger has been simmering for a long time and it just needed a spark. A file photo of Burhan Wani.

AS Dulat says anger has been simmering for a long time and it just needed a spark. A file photo of Burhan Wani.

India’s former spymaster has said that a Kashmiri separatist killed by Indian security forces last month was an ‘icon for the people’ of Kashmir.

Burhan Wani, was killed by Indian security forces in an alleged gunfight on July 8. New Delhi called Wani a terrorist of the Hizbul Mujahideen and rebuked Pakistan for ‘supporting a terrorist.’

How Burhan Wani represents a new wave of anger in Kashmir

“You may call him a terrorist, but you can’t ignore that he was some sort of an icon for the people there,” AS Dulat, a former head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), told The Economic Times in an interview. “He was different. He was popular. So, when he got killed, it created the situation for the flood of anger to come out,” Dulat added.

Wani’s killing has triggered an outrage in the disputed valley. India responded with a brute force to quell the widespread protests. Surprisingly, New Delhi blamed Pakistan for fuelling the unrest.

Dulat doesn’t agree. “There has been anger simmering for a long time and we [India] did not take cognisance of it. That anger just needed a spark, and Burhan Wani did that,” said Dulat, who was also adviser on Kashmir in the government of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Pakistan condemns India’s killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander in occupied Kashmir

“As an intelligence officer, I would have tried to bring him overground. Many militants in the past had a new life overground,” said Dulat who had revealed in a 2015 interview that RAW had been bankrolling Kashmiri separatists.

Pakistan has invited India for exclusive talks on Kashmir, but India turned down the offer. “The worst situation is when you don’t talk either with Pakistan or with Kashmiris. So, we must talk with Kashmiris and we must talk to Pakistan.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Logic
    Aug 29, 2016 - 9:15AM

    We need more such voices from India to speak up.Recommend

  • just_someone
    Aug 29, 2016 - 9:53AM

    Surprising that there are reasonable people in India…
    Listening to the trolling here, you would think the country is either deluded or just plain stupid!Recommend

  • Asad
    Aug 29, 2016 - 10:30AM

    @just_someone:
    I would say deluded! Recommend

  • anti elitist
    Aug 29, 2016 - 3:48PM

    I wish this guy was indian PM instead of Modi. We all should give and take on core issue of Kashmir and shouldn’t leave this simmering issue for our next generations to fight over.Recommend

  • Tp
    Aug 29, 2016 - 5:19PM

    “Iconic” terrorists come and go. India will never compromise on territory. Period.Recommend

  • Mayor
    Aug 29, 2016 - 5:22PM

    LOL he is not praising him. He said the opinion of Kashmiri Muslims. They can create another 100 icons, we have got enough bullets. Recommend

  • rama
    Aug 29, 2016 - 5:39PM

    Selective quoting is like itching it gives temporary relief, but do the damage, these comments will give Pakistan establishment a temporary sense of achievement but it will haunt Pakistan establishment Recommend

  • Mr Obvious
    Aug 29, 2016 - 7:29PM

    OBL was terrorist and icon to some – being an icon doesn’t excuse terrorism. Both are dead – good riddance. Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala
    Aug 29, 2016 - 8:36PM

    There is something fishy about this guy. Why did he bankroll Kasmiri separatists? May be truth will see the light of the day soon.Recommend

  • Nitha
    Aug 29, 2016 - 9:47PM

    Okay.. nice drama by kashmiri jehaadis.. feeling boring… what next…Recommend

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