wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06NEWDELHI6647 2006-09-25 12:47:00 SECRET Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

KASHMIR: SELF RULE, SOFT BORDER SOLUTION GAINING

Tags:   PREL PGOV PTER PINR PBTS MOPS KDEM KISL PK IN 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (S) Summary: Indian government responses to Musharraf's
recent book, in which he discussed a four part solution to
the Kashmir issue, are likely to be harsh publicly, and
targeted for domestic consumption. However, journalists with
access to the Prime Minister's office say the proposal is
very similar to a non-paper Prime Minister Singh gave to
President Musharraf in Havana. While many Kashmir watchers
here believe that the rough outline of a solution is forming
behind the scenes, few believe that Prime Minister Singh has
the political backing to sell the proposal to the Indian
public right now. They say that opposition BJP leaders and
hawks in the military and Congress party have been a chief
stumbling block to the proposed solution because they accuse
Singh of being soft on Pakistan. They say that Prime
Minister Singh and Sonia Gandhi may be unable to sell the
agreement in India unless the following scenario unfolds:
Singh runs and is elected as Prime Minister in his own right
in 2008 and secures an unassailable position in Parliament.
In essence, they say, everyone knows what the solution will
be, but the various parties can't get to a resolution. End
Summary.

Similar proposals


--------------------------





2. (S) Hindustan Times editor Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, who has a
frequent window into the Prime Minister's office, says
President Musharraf's recent proposal on Kashmir mirrors in
several parts a white paper passed by Prime Minister Singh to
President Musharraf in Havana. According to Chaudhuri, the
non-paper outlines a vague framework for resolving Kashmir,
in which neither party would make territorial concessions,
both Indian and Pakistani Kashmir would gain autonomy, the
Line of Control would become a permanent, yet porous border,
the Kashmir Valley would be demilitarized, and Pakistan would
put an end to terrorist attacks in India. He says, however,
that there will be pushback over Pakistan's commentary on the
framework of an autonomous Jammu and Kashmir state. Indian
officials have long held that Pakistan has no business
interfering in India's internal affairs, and they say this
will have to be resolved with the Kashmiris.



3. (S) BJP leaders and hawks in the Congress party have also
become road blocks to the agreement. Chaudhuri points out
that the process by which Pakistan prevents terrorist attacks
in India will be the most important issue Prime Minister
Singh will face. If the joint mechanism with Pakistan leads
to an honest effort to prevent terrorists attacks in India,
Prime Minister Singh will have a realistic answer for his
hard line constituents.

Separatists and PDP Proposals Mirror Musharraf


--------------------------

-



4. (S) President Musharraf's views seem similar, however, to
the proposals widely touted by All Parties Hurriyat
Conference (APHC) leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq for a "United
States of Kashmir." Prior to his recent meeting with
Musharraf, the Mirwaiz discussed with PolOff and PolFSN his
efforts to build support within the Kashmiri and Pakistani
publics for his solution. First, the LOC would become a
border, but every effort would be made by parties on both

NEW DELHI 00006647 002.5 OF 002


sides to make it irrelevant -- similar to the soft barriers
that define many of the borders in Europe. Second, both
Kashmiri regions of India and Pakistan would be given
semi-autonomous status. Third, the proposal would set three
separate state assemblies on the Indian side including Jammu,
Ladhak, and Srinagar, and two on the Pakistani side including
Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas. On the Indian side the
Governor and Chief Minister posts would rotate to allow
representatives from Jammu, Ladhak, and Srinagar an equal
chance to fill each position. (Comment: The Mirwaiz is no
doubt concerned about his own political future in this
proposal and that of the rest of the APHC. With Srinagar
having its own state assembly, the Mirwaiz and his APHC
colleagues would only have to win in the Valley to serve at
least part of the time in the Governor and Chief Minister
positions -- rather than relying on minority Muslim voters in
Jammu and Ladhak or having to worry about building a
coalition with mainstream parties who may be reluctant to
ally with former separatists. End Comment.)



5. (S) Pakistan People's Party leaders Mufti Sayeed and his
daughter Mehbooba Sayeed -- who share a coalition with
Congress in Jammu and Kashmir -- are also supporting a
similar proposal. In discussions with PolOff and PolFSN they
said benefits for Pakistan would come in three forms: First,
the Azad and Srinagar assemblies would include non-voting
representatives from the other side of the border who could
serve in an advisory role. Second, real efforts would be
made on both sides to open the border with residents,
tourists, and goods flowing across. Third, joint committees
would be formed with Kashmiri officials from both sides of
the border to administer issues such as tourism promotion,
prevention of disease, environmental concerns, and
development. Press releases indicate that the PDP has tried
to take the third part one step further in a party conference
last weekend -- including announcing a proposal for a common
currency between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir.


Everyone agrees, but how do they get there?


--------------------------





6. (S) Comment: Musharraf and Singh face an uphill battle if
they are to sell this or any other agreement in either India
or Pakistan. Indian officials tell us often that overt US
intervention will make Prime Minister Singh's efforts much
harder because he already has to answer to opposition
accusations that he is bowing to US pressure on this and many
other issues. That said, strong action on Musharraf's part
to demonstrate to the Indian population that he is serious
about ending terrorist attacks in India will have a strong
impact on how fast both sides can reach a resolution.
MULFORD