Kashmir was an issue close to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's heart. There were repeated setbacks, first the Kargil war, General Pervez Musharraf's coup in Pakistan, the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC 814 in December 1999 and the Parliament attack two years later. But he countered each with an initiative full of hope: the bus to Lahore in 1999, the Agra Summit in 2001 and finally the 'hand of friendship' extended to Pakistan in Srinagar in May 2003.
A.S. Dulat, chief of the Research and Analysis Wing under Vajpayee and India's foremost Kashmir expert, brings nearly two decades of experience in the state to bear on the subject in this book. It looks as much into the future as at the years gone by as it throws light on how a new government can revive and conclude the Vajpayee peace process.