SRINAGAR: In a series of interviews ahead of the release of his memoir, Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years, former RAW chief and old Kashmir hand AS Dulat created sensation with his “revelations” about Kashmiri resistance and pro-India leaderships. While the debate over his soundbites rages over social media sites, the book flew off shelves of a leading publisher and bookseller within a few hours on Monday.
Sheikh Aijaz Ahmad, owner of Gulshan Books, said that he sold a total of 100 copies of the memoir by 12.30pm on Monday and expected that another lot of 100 copies scheduled to arrive by 4pm on Tuesday “will meet the same fate”.
“The buyers were not the booklovers we are accustomed to seeing. You can say they were strangers,” he said.
Aijaz said that he has not seen a book that was greeted with the curiosity this memoir has evoked or which has sold as well as this in Kashmir recently.
“Many people have ordered it online but they are yet to receive it. Other booksellers also have not received their consignments yet,” he said, adding that he might have to order more if the “enthusiasm rages at this pace”.
Noted columnist and political commentator Zahid Ghulam Mohammad said that after former Intelligence Bureau chief BN Mullick’s ‘My Years with Nehru: Kashmir’, Dulat’s memoir is the second memoir by a former spy master to create ripples in Kashmir.
“Mullick had made similar revelations about Kashmir then,” he said.
Dulat, who was posted in the Valley during the early phases of the armed insurgency and later played a key role in backchannel initiatives on Kashmir, had said that intelligence agencies paid militants and pro-India leaders in the state. He had also said that PDP had been created by Syed Ali Geelani and Kashmir Pandits were the key players of IB’s network in the Valley.