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news details
Former RAW chief CD Sahay, Kashmir expert Pandya draft JK outreach roadmap
Vivekananda International Foundation suggests new roles for DCs, SSPs
7/7/2020 12:35:02 AM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, July 6: In a significant development, an internationally recognized think-tank mentored by former spymasters, military veterans and other researchers has drafted a first of its kind outreach roadmap to bring back peace and prosperity through good governance in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was seen as a historic development, this outreach document is being seen as “icing on the cake.”
The roadmap suggests that bureaucracy in Jammu and Kashmir needs to be made even people-friendly and responsive especially at the district levels.
On 26th June, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), India’s premier security think tank released the paper titled “Kashmir- Is the Time Ripe for a New Outreach Strategy” The VIF is India’s leading rightwing think tank on foreign policy, intelligence, and security affairs.
The National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had reportedly conceived the idea of VIF, and he is still associated with it. The VIF has finest brains on national security and foreign policy including former chiefs of R&AW, IB, Military Intelligence, members of national security advisory board, former ambassadors, top army generals, civil servants, and acclaimed academics and researchers.
The “Kashmir- Is the Time Ripe for a New Outreach Strategy” has been co-authored by former RAW Chief CD Sahay and Abhinav Pandya. The plan is being seen as rare combination of a research scholar, global geopolitical analyst, Kashmir expert, intelligence affairs expert, and a man with a robust penetration in all the sections of Kashmiri society. Officials said Pandya was among the strategic advisors to the then Governor SP Malik on issues of security and youth engagement.
In the roadmap, Pandya and Sahay suggested to New Delhi that the District Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP)s in J&K must form a committee of 10-12 young minds of the district, meet them regularly, get their feedback in development and public grievances.
“Further, they recommend sport clubs at every level, district-level development and current affairs clubs, and the promotion of start-ups in Kashmir by Kashmiri youth and in Jammu by Jammu youth. Interestingly, they suggest that sound outreach should go parallel with counter-terrorism efforts,” said an expert who reviewed the document.
The document also suggested a roadmap for the political dialogue in Kashmir. “The document is a masterpiece in its honesty and details. Anyone with a strong grassroots network can only produce such a piece. No wonder, Pandya is known as a man with popular support, true reach, and an intellectual grip on Kashmir,” said a researcher close to the VIF.
Experts said if New Delhi seriously wants to change the situation on the ground and to fully integrate Kashmir with rest of India, it should earnestly implement this document under the overall guidance and supervision of the people who drafted it.
“First and foremost, the J&K needs good leadership with vision, compassion, and a mind of his own. If it is left to the whims, arrogance, and fancies of some cynical babus, it will be an eternal loss to India,” the experts said.
Coming to CD Sahay, he is the former chief of RAW and seen among the finest intelligence brains on Kashmir. He has witnessed the militancy of Kashmir in the 1990s. He played a crucial role in the negotiations surrounding the hijacking of IC814. New York Times published an article on that outlining his role. Known for his quiet and silent demeanor, he is a brilliant geopolitical expert and a strategist on the lines of classic spymasters of the cold-war era.
In the issue brief, both Sahay and Pandya suggest a comprehensive outreach strategy.
Sources said before coming up with the document, Pandya was camping in Jammu and Kashmir for several months and made an outreach to a variety of people from including former militants, politicians, police officers and youth in militant hotbeds like Tral.
Interestingly, in his assessment, Pandya had predicted Pulwama-type suicide bombings, the rise of ISIS sentiment, and internationalization of the Kashmir issue.
When contacted Pandya declined to divulge about the details about his stay in J&K. To a question he said: “You cannot win a proxy war without the support. Times has come to reach out to the people.”
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