wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NEWDELHI2226
2005-03-23 11:45:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

LOOKING TO MUSHARRAF VISIT, MEA UPBEAT ON INDO-PAK

Tags:   PTER  PREL  IN  PK  INDO  PAK 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L NEW DELHI 002226 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2015
TAGS: PTER PREL IN PK INDO PAK

SUBJECT: LOOKING TO MUSHARRAF VISIT, MEA UPBEAT ON INDO-PAK
REF: NEW DELHI 1736
Classified By: PolCouns Geoff Pyatt, for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L NEW DELHI 002226

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/2015
TAGS: PTER PREL IN PK INDO PAK

SUBJECT: LOOKING TO MUSHARRAF VISIT, MEA UPBEAT ON INDO-PAK
REF: NEW DELHI 1736
Classified By: PolCouns Geoff Pyatt, for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)


1. (C) Summary: Recently ensconced MEA Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) Dilip Sinha was largely upbeat on Indo-Pak relations during a March 22 introductory meeting with PolCouns and Poloff, especially with regard to the Indo-Pak cricket series and the anticipated April 16-17 visit of Pakistan President Musharraf to New Delhi. Sinha offered an unusually positive view of Musharraf as a leader who could help advance the peace process as long as he does not ""overplay his hand"" as at the Agra Summit in July 2001.
Sinha and his predecessor, Arun K. Singh, also reported on recent irritants in the Indo-Pak relationship, alleging that Indian diplomats in Islamabad were under resumed harassment by Pakistani intelligence after a long hiatus.
Encouragingly, he did not seek to project these irritants on to the broader political relationship. End Summary.


1. (C) In a March 22 introductory meeting with PolCouns and Poloff, MEA Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran)
Dilip Sinha offered the following nuggets on Indo-Pak relations:

-- On the Indo-Pak cricket series, Sinha agreed that the matches were going well and that the Indian media coverage continued to be largely positive. Sinha did not raise recent Indian news reports that some Pakistani visitors had overstayed their visas. He agreed with our assessment that popular enthusiasm on both sides was making it harder to return to a path of hostility.

-- With regard to the anticipated April 16-17 visit to New Delhi of Pakistan President Musharraf, Sinha confirmed that there would be ""a meal"" and ""a working program,"" but that details were not yet nailed down for the visit, which would be ""less than 24 hours long.""

-- When asked by PolCouns when the Indo-Pak Composite Dialogue would resume, Sinha responded that, although the talks are to run from April through July, specific dates had not yet been set. He added that the pending Musharraf visit was diverting MEA resources away from larger Indo-Pak issues, implying there will be little work on the Composite Dialogue until after April 17.


2. (C) In response to PolCouns' question of how the Indian High Commission in Islamabad views Musharraf (noting the presence in MEA of High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Menon), Sinha observed that Musharraf wanted to play a significant role in the Indo-Pak peace process. ""If he can be reasonable, it will contribute to the process,"" but Musharraf should not ""push beyond what is rational."" In this context, Arun Singh commented that Musharraf had ""overplayed his hand at Agra."" Overall, Sinha allowed that Musharraf was keeping the Composite Dialogue moving despite ""dissident voices"" in Islamabad, especially on the Kashmir issue.


3. (C) Turning to recent irritants, Sinha reported without specifics that Islamabad was equivocating on the proposed Lahore-Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service, and noted that while Indian fishermen who strayed into Pakistani territorial waters are being released from Pakistani jails, their boats continue to be held, consistent with a recent announcement from Islamabad to that effect. On issues out of the public eye, Sinha complained that after a long hiatus, Indian diplomats in Islamabad were again being harassed by Pakistani intelligence operatives, although he presented no specifics.
Encouragingly, he did not suggest that any of these setbacks would retard the broader Indo-Pak dialogue.
MULFORD "