‘Kayani last obstacle to Kashmir deal’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘Kayani last obstacle to Kashmir deal’

The Pakistan army chief, general Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was seen as the "remaining obstacle" for an India-Pakistan deal on Kashmir, which both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari were ready to sign, says a US diplomatic cable. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2011 01:43 IST
HT Correspondent

The Pakistan army chief, general Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was seen as the "remaining obstacle" for an India-Pakistan deal on Kashmir, which both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Asif Ali Zardari were ready to sign, says a US diplomatic cable.

The cable from the US embassy is London is based on former British foreign secretary David Miliband's visit to Islamabad on January 25, 2008 a day before the Mumbai terror strike that saw the ties between two countries touching a new low.

A US diplomat quotes Laura Hickey of the Pakistan Team of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office a saying that the Miliband concluded during the trip was that it was time to get a deal done on Kashmir.

"Zardari and Singh were ready, and there was a text on paper. Miliband thought the remaining obstacle was Pakistani military chief staff general Kayani; he remained 'reluctant' and needed to be persuaded," the cable said.

Hickey said that Miliband had "resolved to put energy behind an Indian-Pakistan deal on Kashmir."

"She thought the November 26 Mumbai bombings would likely strengthen his resolve. HMG [Her Majesty's Government] is nervous, however, that over-reaction on either government's part could result in a hardening of positions over military action in Kashmir, once again derailing any progress," the cable said.

The cable is widely reported in Pakistani media.

"But the cable does not clarify Miliband's view of Gen Kayani or details of the latter's reluctance. The cable also does not clarify that Gen Kayani's reluctance was about the deal struck by Zardari and Singh and not about resolution of the Kashmir issue", the Dawn newspaper opined.

Miliband was in Pakistan as part of the outreach exercise on counter-radicalization efforts and support for the Pakistan government's in the fight against extremism,

In an early released cable, that came out through Wikileaks in last December it was said that Kayani, learning lessons from his predecessor Pervez Musharraf prefers staying behind the scenes while affecting the government's decision-making on key issues.

Jasmine Zerinini, head of the French government's interagency Afghanistan-Pakistan cell, told Richard Kessler, staff director of the U S House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in January that Kayani was playing a behind the scenes role in issues like the war against terrorism and stirring up a controversy over linking civilian control of the military to increased American aid.

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An earlier WikiLeak cable says Kayani, having learnt some lessons from predecessor Musharraf, prefers staying behind-the-scenes, but affecting govt’s decision-making

It said Kayani was playing a role in issues like war against terror and stirring up a controversy over linking civilian control of the military to increased American aid.