India-Pak had back channel deal on Kashmir: cables | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India-Pak had back channel deal on Kashmir: cables

India and Pakistan had reached a "back-channel" agreement on the Kashmir issue during the tenure of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told a visiting US Congressional team.

delhi Updated: Sep 04, 2011 20:42 IST

India and Pakistan had reached a "back-channel" agreement on the Kashmir issue during the tenure of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told a visiting US Congressional team.

According to secret US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks, Singh told the Congressional delegation in April 2009 that India and Pakistan had made great progress prior to February 2007, when Musharraf ran into trouble.

"We had reached an understanding in back channels," Singh told the delegation.

The cable was sent by US Charge d'Affairs Peter Burleigh to his bosses in the US State Department on April 21, 2009.

Singh told the delegation that Musharraf had agreed to a non-territorial solution to Kashmir that included freedom of movement and trade, the cable said.

The Prime Minister added that India wants a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic Pakistan and makes no claim on "even an inch" of Pakistani territory, it said.

Pakistan, on the other hand, supports infiltrators, hoping "by a thousand cuts" to weaken Indian solidarity, the cable quoted Singh as saying.

Another cable brings to the fore differences between the then National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and the Prime Minister on Pakistan.

In a meeting with the then US Ambassador Timothy Roemer in August 2009, Narayanan had described the Prime Minister as a "great believer" in talks and negotiations with Pakistan while he was "not a great believer in Pakistan".

Roemer wrote: "He (Narayanan) added that after the Prime Minister spoke in speeches of India's 'shared destiny' with Pakistan, he told the PM 'you have a shared destiny, we don't.'"

However, the then envoy had commented that the remarks were made with "some joviality" and Narayanan was "totally complimentary" of the Prime Minister throughout the discussion.

Roemer got an impression from the meeting that foreign policy was being run out of the Prime Minister's office.

"On the latter point (advancing US-India agenda), he (Narayanan) reiterated that foreign policy was firmly in the hands of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)," Roemer wrote.

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