The Spy Chronicles, at the very cursory glance, appeared to be a pretentiously intellectualised version of Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai. For, like the film which hit bullseye at the box office by making both R&AW and ISI work together in the war against terrorism, the book has the heads of two otherwise antagonistic spy agencies – AS Dulat and Lt Gen Asad Durrani – talking about issues that have kept the subcontinent on tenterhooks for the past 70 years.
Like Tiger Zinda Hai, the book has set the cash counters ringing. And, unfortunately, much like the film, it too is shallow – and even delusional – in dealing with an issue as serious and sensitive as the India-Pakistan relationship. There’s not a single insight – or worse revelation – in the 300-odd pages, except perhaps how Dulat helped Durrani’s son, then caught up in Mumbai, safely reach his home. The book is about two retired security professionals, out of job and perhaps bereft of much strategic depth in the fast-changing strategic sphere, talking with an unbound air of intellectual superiority on how India and Pakistan can be friends again! Read More