In the first admission of its kind, former chief of India’s premier spy agency (RAW) said Indian intelligence agencies have over the years paid militants and separatists, along with mainstream politicians and political parties in Indian Kashmir to compete with Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI.
"So what's wrong? What is there to be so shocked or scandalised by. It's done the world over," former RAW Chief AS Dulat said, while speaking to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt.
Elaborating, Dulat said the Indian government quite often paid for the air fares, medical treatment and general upkeep of even hardened pro-Pakistan separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
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Continuing with the revelations, the former RAW chief admitted India's 'spooks' had been in touch with everyone from 'separatists and militants’.
“One of India's most wanted terrorists Syed Salahuddin was in touch with me and was ready to leave Pakistan and return to India.”
Further, defending the use of money in Indian-Kashmir, the former RAW chief said it was done in the hope of engaging militants and separatists and also to compete for influence with the ISI.
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"Corrupting someone with money is more ethical and smarter than killing him," he added.
Dulat's statement comes weeks after a verbal tirade between Pakistan and India. Recently, Pakistani leaders and the military have constantly been accusing RAW of funding terror activities in Pakistan. In a a rare public statement after a meeting on May 6, top military commanders accused RAW of fuelling terrorism in the country.
This article originally appeared on NDTV.