NEW DELHI - In a startling admission, former chief of India’s premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Amarjit Singh Dulat, said Indian intelligence agencies over the years often paid militants and separatists as well as mainstream politicians and political parties in Indian Held Kashmir to compete for influence with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

In an interview with NDTV’s high-profile TV anchor Barkha Dutt, ahead of the launch of his book, ‘Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years’ Dulat asked: “So what’s wrong? What is there to be so shocked or scandalised by. It’s done the world over.”He defended the use of money in Indian Held Kashmir, saying it was done in the hope of engaging militants and separatists. “Corrupting someone with money is more ethical and smarter than killing him,” he remarked.

Speaking about his controversial memoir, Dulat divulged that the Indian government had on quite a few occasions paid for air fares, medical treatment and general upkeep of pro-Pakistan separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He said India’s spies had been in touch with everyone, separatists and militants alike.

Dulat also revealed he had been in touch with one of India’s most wanted terrorists and the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin, who, the ex-RAW chief said, was ready to leave Pakistan and return to India.

MI-6 HOSTS ALTAF IN LONDON, SAYS DULAT: Former RAW chief AS Dulat on Saturday said Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain is a ‘guest’ of British intelligence agency, MI-6, in London. However, he refused to answer a question about India’s funding to MQM.

Talking to a news channel in India, AS Dulat, refusing to answer a question whether India funds MQM or not, claimed Altaf Hussain is a ‘guest of MI-6’. He said Altaf Hussain is hosted by MI-6 which should be questioned about MQM funding.

AS Dulat’s statement has come amid rumours that two of the MQM leaders have confessed to Muttahida’s funding from India.