The Indian spy agency’s former chief, AS Dulat, has held a top secret meeting with detained National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, The Hindustan Times quoting multiple senior officials has reported .
According to the report Dulat flew to Srinagar in early February on a hush-hush mission for the government.
The brief for Dulat’s secret mission was simple: to suss out Abdullah’s mood in “accepting the new reality of Jammu & Kashmir after the nullification of Article 370”, according to one of the officials.
A second official familiar with what transpired in the meeting between Dulat and Abdullah said, “Farooq Abdullah was furious and refused to yield any ground.” This person added that the J&K administration has been trying to get Omar Abdullah to sign a bond giving an undertaking that he would not criticise the nullification of Article 370, but that he has refused, HT added.
“The senior Abdullah is angry and hurt at being detained and painted as an anti-national when he has openly and publicly raised slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. He has, in fact, often said that he was “a soldier of the country, not an enemy of the nation”, the person said.”
The government does not seem to be clear on how to move ahead and break the security logjam and, as the second official quoted above said, “They are trying various options. Letting Dulat meet Farooq was one such experiment. Keeping leaders locked up under PSA is not a long-term possibility. Many foreign envoys who visited the UT have (also) asked for their release.”
“The outcome of the latest meeting remains unclear. It isn’t known if the NC will now contest the deferred panchayat body polls or if the PSA against Farooq Abdullah will be revoked. The NC recently said it would participate in the elections only if its leaders were released from detention.” The report further added.