Book Review: The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI And The Illusion of Peace

05:02 PM | 24 May, 2018
Book Review: The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI And The Illusion of Peace
The two former D's of the spy agencies of the countries that are not unfamiliar with animosity that exists between Pakistan and India have come together off the field and into the land of tale telling. In a much anticipated book within the intelligence community and perhaps even beyond, is a firsthand account of the operations, events and mostly opinions regarding the two countries by their former Chiefs of intelligence.

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI And The Illusion of Peace, is a written manifestation of many encounters that often occur between officials (serving or retired) on dialogue based platforms such as Track II.

The book encapsulates the general human aspect by offering a rare glance into the comfortable conversation that takes place in the book between Durrani and Dulat. The former heads of spying agencies recall their times and events that unfolded in their respective countries. From Kargil to Kashmir, Lahore, Uri and Mumbai to Soviets and the US and Bin Laden, to the harsh terrain of Afghanistan to the ambitious China and back- the two share extensive information on what was or could be true.

Their opinions hold each side guilty of not resolving the issues and while much is to be taken with a grain of salt, Durrani and Dulat shed light on the bitter sweet relationship of Pakistan and India.

The book, however, still remains a personal accounts of their times. Without getting into a complete disclosure of events, the two leave many question marks and hypothesis for readers to reflect upon while drawing some similar points between the workings of ISI and RAW. The cases of Khulbhashan and Hafiz Saeed are discussed in a tit for tat manner.

Durrani however, appears to be more critical of the agency he once headed while also being critical of Pakistan's former President Musharraf, while Dulat in a later chapters beats the familiar drum of the Indian approach towards Pakistan and it sponsoring terrorism. Dulat reflects on times of Vajpayee and his attempts to move ahead with Pakistan despite the political and military situation on both ends.

While discussing Afghanistan, Dulat admits to Bollywood's soft power capability. As for the involvement of India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, there seems to be an understanding of doing what needs to be done. Different political and military doctrines of both countries is a subject also opined on in the book.

The closing chapters offer the strategies suggested by Durrani and Dulat to overcome the hostility between Pakistan and India. Dulat advocates for confidence building while Durrani opts for durable structures for a long term breakthrough - from people to people interaction to the frequent use of back-door channels. The conclusion both agree on is expected. There should be no more war and the "madness" needs to end.

Call it whistle blowing or capitalizing on information "for the eyes only" or "confidential", the book is a rare piece, almost fictional and a bait for many. How well it may or may not be received by the present intelligence chiefs remains a question mark, but will the response remain buried in the files or backfire will be a sequel in the making. But the fact remains, outside the conference halls of dialogues, reality is running the show.


Rupee recovers marginally against US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham and Riyal; check forex rates

Pakistani rupee saw marginal improvement against US dollar as it appreciated in the open bank market.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Thursday, the US dollar moved up and was being quoted at 285.3 for buying and 288.15 for selling.

Euro moves down to 311 for buying and 314 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 358.5 for buying, and 361.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED stands at 78 whereas the Saudi Riyal rate stands at 76.20.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 30 November 2023

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 285.3 288.15
Euro EUR 311 314
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 361.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 78 78.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 76.2 77
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 759.67 767.67
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.58 39.98
Danish Krone DKK 41.38 41.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.63 36.98
Indian Rupee INR 3.39 3.5
Japanese Yen JPY 1.49 1.56
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 926.7 935.7
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.38 60.98
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.44 175.44
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.25 26.55
Omani Riyal OMR 741.26 749.26
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.63 78.33
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 26.93 27.23
Swiss Franc CHF 325.9 328.4
Thai Bhat THB 8.23 8.38

Gold rates in Pakistan increase; Check today’s gold rates 30 November 2023

KARACHI – The gold price continues to climb up in the local market in line of upward trend in international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 30 November 2023

On Thursday, the single tola of 24 Karat gold was available at Rs218,600, and the price for 10-gram gold reached Rs187,420.

Meanwhile, the 22 Karat Gold price stands at Rs200,380, 21 karat rate for each tola is Rs191,275 and 18k gold rate hoveres around Rs163,950.

In international market, the price of precious metal hovers around $2,045 per ounce.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Karachi PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Islamabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Peshawar PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Quetta PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Sialkot PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Attock PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Gujranwala PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Jehlum PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Multan PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Bahawalpur PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Gujrat PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Nawabshah PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Chakwal PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Hyderabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Nowshehra PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Sargodha PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Faisalabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Mirpur PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675


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