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Friday, September 17, 2021

Durrani-Dulat book is classic Pakistani Deep State ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ Propaganda

At a time when Pakistan has increased annual ceasefire violations 14 times compared to 2011, and when its own ex-PM Nawaz Sharif has tacitly acknowledged Pakistani state’s direct hand in 26/11 Mumbai attack, our liberal-secular cabal is desperately trying to keep themselves relevant.

These useful idiots of the Pakistani deep state continue to grant legitimacy to a rogue militarized Islamofascist state which is now globally known by the sobriquet ‘Terroristan.’ The latest gambit by this cabal was the launch of a new book ‘Spy Chronicles:RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ written jointly by Amarjit Singh Dulat (former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing), Lt. Gen. (retd) Asad Durrani (ex-chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence) and journalist Aditya Sinha.

This book published by Harper Collins was released on 23 May in Delhi by former PM Manmohan Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former J&K CM Farooq Abdulla in the presence of other notables like Kapil Sibal (Hindu-baiting Congress leader and senior lawyer), Barkha Dutt (controversial broker/journalist from the Congress camp who has shifted base to US after getting discredited in Bharat), disgruntled ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, KM Singh (ex-RAW chief) –

Now, lets see what the book is all about and why is it being peddled so hard as a ‘ground-breaking’ work on the usual left-liberal leaning media outlets like Outlook, Washington Post, The Wire, The Print etc. We have not reviewed the book, but are relying on various reports

  • Outlook did an interview with Durrani in which he says that the book was a result of the Track-2 meetings between him and Dulat, and that it addresses “Almost every subject that had a bearing on Indo-Pak relations – Kashmir indeed before all else…..The two of us agreed that under the present circumstances, small step together to address the humanitarian issues in Kashmir seemed the best starting point. A specific steering system too was suggested.”
  • Harper Collins’ summary of the book starts with a quote from the poet Manto and tells us that the book is about “Kashmir, and a missed opportunity for peace; Hafiz Saeed and 26/11; Kulbhushan Jadhav; surgical strikes; the deal for Osama bin Laden; how the US and Russia feature in the India-Pakistan relationship; and how terror undermines the two countries’ attempts at talks.”
  • A Zee News report composed with PTI inputs says that the book “covers a wide range of subjects including NSA Ajit Doval’s way of functioning, the Kashmir issue and several thorny issues between India and Pakistan including Kulbhushan Jadhav, Balochistan and surgical strikes.”
  • Durrani was denied a visa for the book launch and hence addressed the gathering through a pre-recorded video message in which he said “a very special thanks to the Indian deep state. By denying me the visa, they have saved me from the wrath of our hawks.”

So going by the above sources and knowing the past history of how the Pakistani Army-ISI controls the agenda in track-2 soirees (remember Fai?), it is clear that the book is another addition to the Pakistani propaganda which places Kashmir above all else and presents Kashmir as a ‘humanitarian issue’. It hyphenates a rogue, jihadi spy agency like ISI with a democratically controlled RAW, and creates a false equivalence between Bharat and a failed terrorist state like Pakistan.

Talking about Hafiz Saeed and Kulbhushan Jadhav in the same breath means that this book is a rerun of the disastrous Sharm-el-Sheikh joint statement equating Bharat and Pakistan as victims of terrorism, and equating the Islamist jihad that Pakistan is fomenting and waging in all parts of Bharat to the Pakistani allegations of Indian involvement in the Baloch independence struggle.

What is revealing about this book is what it does not cover – Pakistani sponsored Khalistani terror which has revived in a big way in recent years; Pakistani-sponsored domestic terror groups like IM (Indian Mujahideen) and their successors whose sleeper cells are spread across Bharat and whose latest weapon is sabotaging rail tracks; and most importantly, the Pakistani Army’s obsession with Bharat which for them represents the perennial kafir enemy that must be defeated and broken up – refer to Christine Fair’s brilliant analysis of the Pakistani Army’s strategic culture in her book ‘Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War’.

And if there is any propaganda to be spread on behalf of the Pakistani deep state, how can Barkha Dutt be far behind? In this Washington Post article, she says –

  • “India and Pakistan remain locked in asymmetric warfare for decades.…this book is like having the retired bosses at the CIA and KGB signing on for a joint project in the heat of the Cold War.” – the truth is that it is Pakistan that has been waging a proxy war against Bharat since 1989 at least, not just in J&K but all major states of Bharat by training & sponsoring Islamic terrorists and other separatists – even Nepal and Sri Lanka have been used as bases to wage this ‘death by a 1000 cuts’ doctrine against us. Our response has been reactionary/episodic at best, somnolent at worst. Unlike the Cold War between USA and USSR where both sides had a clear vision of the opponent’s ideology and realized what was at stake, we in Bharat have been living in a fool’s paradise with little understanding of Pakistani motivations; hence, we are condemned to repeat the knee jerk outrage-talks-appeasement cycle after every fresh terror attack or Pakistani double-cross.     
  • “RAW is at least as good as we are,” ” Durrani said at one point in the book  – the last thing RAW needs is patronising endorsement from the head of a thuggish spy agency like ISI.
  • “The book’s central premise is that old political formulas have failed, civilian governments in Pakistan are hardly empowered, and it is time to allow an institutional line of dialogue between spies on both sides.” – ISI and its Army bosses are definitely empowered to dictate the foreign policy of their nation, but we in Bharat have a democratically elected Government which takes care of such things. So if a fanatical set of self-serving Generals are in power in Pakistan, we need to weaken that set up and change, not legitimise, it. 
  • Dulat, the ‘indefatigable optimist’, says “India should issue a formal invitation to Pakistan’s army chief to visit….it’s time to roll out the red carpet and invite General Qamar Bajwa who has been talking nothing but peace in the last fortnight. There is no better way of checking out Pakistan’s intention than this.” – have we learnt nothing from Musharraf and Agra, Mr. Dulat?
  • “Pakistan directed the U.S. Navy SEALs to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in 2011..as part of a presumed deal under which Americans would exit Afghanistan in exchange for bin Laden’s location,” Durrani told Dutt in an interview, she claims. This is typical ISI-style propaganda in which they project themselves to be in control of anything that happens in Pakistan, master manipulators and ultimate guardians of Pakistani interests. Of course, Dutt never tells us if she asked the logical follow-up question to Durrani’s claims – why was Osama bin Laden living a comfortable life in Pakistan with the full knowledge of the Pakistani Army?
  • “Durrani says in the book that ISI’s leverage on the Kashmir insurgency turned out less than successful.” If Dulat and Sinha did not question this absurd claim by Durrani, it means they are willing collaborators in furthering Pakistani propaganda that Kashmir’s terrorist problem is entirely home grown – reality is that all the major terror groups operating in the valley today like Hizbul Mujahideen, LeT, JeM have their headquarters in PoK or Pakistan.
  • Dulat’s answer to the question of RAW’s failures with Pakistan was just as candid: “That we have not been able to turn an ISI officer at a level where it counts.”  Would Dulat also care to comment on how ex-PM IK Gujral, born in pre-partition Pakistan just like Dulat, surrendered our extensive human intelligence network in Pakistan in 1997-98 as part of the same ‘brotherly love’/pappi-jhapppi bug that Dulat is bitten by?
  • “A tipoff from RAW saved the life of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf and said Musharraf had even conveyed his gratitude. As army chief, Musharraf pushed Pakistani soldiers into India in 1999 leading to the Kargil war. His hard-line statements and actions made him a deeply contentious figure in India. Yet, Dulat insisted, “There has been no more reasonable Pakistani leader than General Musharraf.” It is a telling indictment of Bharat’s security establishment that a dictator who went behind the back of his democratically elected PM to start a war, is considered a ‘reasonable man’ by the man who headed our external spy agency at the time when the Kargil war was being fought.

AS Dulat, the ‘softie’

In an interview with the rabidly anti-Modi propaganda outlet The Wire, Dulat calls himself a ‘softie’ compared to Durrani. He also informs us that the last chapter of the book is called ‘Deewangi kab khatam hogi’ (when will this obsessive madness end?). Mr. Dulat, this deewangi is entirely one-sided, contrary to what you have deluded yourself into believing. Relations between Bharat and Pakistan will normalize only when Pakistan’s obsessive desire to defeat Bharat and dismember it ends – for that, the Pakistani Army and the bigoted Islamist worldview of the Pakistani nation has to be thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the average Pakistani.

A bland statement by Durrani like acknowledging ‘India’s right to retaliate if another Mumbai 26/11 like attack took place’, which is basically a rewording of Pakistan’s official statement that non-state actors are behind the 26/11 attack, is being spun as some big confession by a retired Pakistani Army officer. The Pakistani Army is also playing its part in the elaborate charade by summoning Durrani to explain his views and terming them a violation of the Army’s model code of conduct.

Another interesting fact that Dulat reveals in his interview with The Wire is that Durrani hinted to him about a mole within ISI who leaked Osama’s location to the Americans – the Americans then left the Pakistani Army with no choice but to cooperate with them; but Barkha Dutt claims that Durrani told her that the Pakistani Army cut a deal with the Americans to share Osama’s location in return for America withdrawing from Afghanistan. So is Durrani lying to Dulat or to Barkha Dutt? Playing them both for fools would seem the more plausible answer.

Pakistanis are past masters at this game of smoke & mirrors (also called taqiya as per Islamic doctrine) – for eg., in 2002  Musharraf had vowed to weed out all terrorist organisations from Pakistani soil and ‘banned’ LeT and JeM after America delivered its ‘you are with us, or against us’ ultimatum post the 9/11 attack. Barely a few months later, LeT plotted the deadly attack on Akshardham mandir in Gujarat, and triggered a series of blasts in Mumbai in 2003.

Today, Pakistan is again under severe pressure from the West, with many post-9/11 attacks in Western cities proving to have a Pakistan link. At such stressful times, the Pakistani deep state always makes some noise to suggest that it is amenable to change, but they revert to type once the pressure eases. Also, let’s not forget that Pakistan’s former NSA Mahmud Ali Durrani also recently admitted that a Pakistan-based terror group (LeT) carried out the 26/11 Mumbai attack – so there is nothing new that Asad Durrani has said in this book.

The overinflated egos of our secular-liberal cabal makes them blind to how they have allowed themselves to become tools of a psy/media war which complements the ‘death by a 1000 cuts’ jihadi policy adopted by the Pakistani regime. Or maybe they just want the good times, aka Track-2 jamborees in Istanbul, Bangkok,  Kathmandu, Malaysia, UK, Canada etc to continue.

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