A vinuous symposium in the queen of cities saw the first of many conversations that would become the ingredients of The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace. It was May 2016, and ex-Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief A.S. Dulat, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Asad Durrani and I were to meet in Istanbul following a Track 2 ‘intel dialogue’ between retired officials from India and Pakistan. Our project was hush-hush. On my Turkish Airlines flight, however, I espied the academic Ananya Vajpeyi a few rows behind me. Oh no. Where do I hide? I slouched into my seat. But eventually, all flights land. As soon as I stood, the inevitable “Aditya!” rang out. She was visiting her spouse Basharat Peer who was in the city, writing. And I? “Um, a Track 2 meet,” I lied. “Oh, which one?” she asked. “Ah, the usual, peace and conflict, etc,” I mumbled, and fled the plane. A close one.
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