Indo-Pak issues blackened in declassified US papers
The Bush Administration had told former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in 2001 to take certain steps on Kashmir to bring down tensions with India, but these have been blackened in the latest US declassified documents released today.world Updated: Sep 11, 2011 22:00 IST
The Bush Administration had told former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in 2001 to take certain steps on Kashmir to bring down tensions with India, but these have been blackened in the latest US declassified documents released on Sunday as they are considered sensitive.
"Our vision of a fully restored bilateral relationship is also premised upon Musharraf's making good on his pledge to hold free and fair elections. These moves on Kashmir, nonproliferation, and democracy will provide congressional and public support to further enhance our relationship with Pakistan," Colin Powell, the then secretary of state says in a memo to US President George Bush on November 5, 2001 ahead of his meeting with the Pakistani military ruler.
The relevant portion on Kashmir are still considered sensitive enough by the US government to be made public.
As a result, those portions have been blackened in the latest set of documents released by the National Security Archive (NSA) on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, but does indicate that the Bush Administration had asked Musharraf to take certain steps on Kashmir.
In this memo, Powell refers to Kashmir as a flash point for possible conflict between India and Pakistan. But again the relevant portion on Kashmir has been blackened in this top secret memo.
"Tensions in Kashmir threaten our efforts in Afghanistan and are a flashpoint for possible Indo-Pakistani conflict. On October 1, a terrorist attack on the state assembly in Kashmir resulted in 38 civilian deaths. India subsequently shelled positions in Pakistan," Powell says in his two-page memo to Bush.
In the same memo, Powell says, countering Indian and Pakistani nuclear and missile proliferation is a key issue.
"In Islamabad, I raised our proliferation concerns, with Musharraf, underscoring that lifting the nuclear-related sanctions did not signal a lessening of our concerns or a green light to further nuclear or missile procurements," Powell wrote.
"We need to stress the importance of exercising restraint and terminating any onward proliferation. We have agreed to continue our nonproliferation dialogue," he said.