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SOME TIME in 2016, a series of dialogues took place which set out to find a meeting ground, even if only an illusion, between A.S. Dulat and Asad Durrani. One was a former chief of RAW, India s external intelligence agency, the other of ISI, its Pakistani counterpart. As they could not meet in their home countries, the conversations, guided by journalist Aditya Sinha, took place in cities like Istanbul, Bangkok and Kathmandu. On the table were subjects that have long haunted South Asia, flashpoints that take lives regularly. It was in all ways a deep dive into the politics of the subcontinent, as seen through the eyes of two spymasters.
Among the subjects: 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.
When the project was first mooted, General Durrani laughed and said nobody would believe it even if it was written as fiction. At a time of fraught relations, this unlikely dialogue between two former spy chiefs from opposite sides a project that is the first of its kind may well provide some answers.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS
In May 2018, a book was published that set off a perfect storm in the intelligence circles in the subcontinent, and made people in the spy community sit up around the world. What made The Spy Chronicles unusual was that two of its authors, A.S. Dulat and Asad Durrani, co-writing with journalist Aditya Sinha, had headed their respective spy agencies — Dulat had been chief of India’s RAW, and Lt Gen. Durrani of Pakistan’s ISI.
More remarkably, these former chiefs of two of the most powerful spy agencies in the world, which were also bitter rivals, discussed the necessity for peace and how the relationship between their two countries could be improved. The fallout of the book would result in Lt Gen. Durrani, a man who has been spoken of as one of the clearest and sharpest thinkers to head the ISI, being put on the exit control list and having his pension revoked.
Honour Among Spies is a fictional account of a spy who is sent out into the cold, but one that reflects all too accurately the predicament of a distinguished officer fighting to protect his reputation. Woven into the novel is a throwback to another famous incident the raid on Osama bin Laden, about whose hideaway and the raid itself Lt Gen. Durrani had made some prescient comments. These and other elements come together in this taut battle of wits that takes forward, in a way, the narrative of The Spy Chronicles.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS