Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06NEWDELHI7767
2006-11-14 04:19:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

BOUCHER AND MENON TOUR D'HORIZON: PAKISTAN,

Tags:  PREL PGOV PTER PINR PBTS MOPS KDEM KISL PK 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO7719
OO RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHNE #7767/01 3180419
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 140419Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0524
INFO RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY 0649
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 0456
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4334
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 0471
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7757
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 7825
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 0261
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0871
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 3643
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 8485
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1952
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0478
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1019
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0646
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4044
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 7214
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 7316
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 5937
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 3210
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 6537
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 3820
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2855
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 5172
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/HQ USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 NEW DELHI 007767 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2026
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR PBTS MOPS KDEM KISL PK
NP, CH, CE, BG, AF, KN, IN
SUBJECT: BOUCHER AND MENON TOUR D'HORIZON: PAKISTAN,
BANGLADESH, NEPAL, SRI LANKA AND NORTH KOREA

NEW DELHI 00007767 001.2 OF 005


Classified By: Ambassador David Mulford for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 NEW DELHI 007767

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2026
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR PBTS MOPS KDEM KISL PK
NP, CH, CE, BG, AF, KN, IN
SUBJECT: BOUCHER AND MENON TOUR D'HORIZON: PAKISTAN,
BANGLADESH, NEPAL, SRI LANKA AND NORTH KOREA

NEW DELHI 00007767 001.2 OF 005


Classified By: Ambassador David Mulford for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)


1. (C) SUMMARY: Foreign Secretary Menon told Assistant
Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher

SIPDIS
and Ambassador Mulford in a Nov. 10 meeting that countering
Pakistani mistrust about India's role in Baluchistan will be
difficult. India is concerned about the growing
sophistication and reach of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its links to
terror in India and elsewhere, including Iraq. India would
like the U.S. to weigh in on the need for verification of
ground positions on the Siachen Glacier, influencing Pakistan
to make a deal. On Kashmir, India is frustrated by a
possible deal that is still stuck. Concerns over terrorism
in Bangladesh are rising. The jury is still out on Nepal,
but India is stepping in to help the government increase its
still limited capacity. While not contemplating direct
involvement in the Sri Lankan peace talks, India will
continue hosting high level delegations aimed at improving
governance in Colombo and educating Sri Lankan leaders about
federalist principles. The "what-if" question of North
Korea's nuclear program is plaguing India, though it has no
real solutions to offer. END SUMMARY.

-------------- --------------
COMPOSITE DIALOGUE AND COUNTERTERRORISM MECHANISM
-------------- --------------


2. (C) In a Nov. 10 meeting with visiting Assistant
Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Mulford, Boucher asked

SIPDIS
Foreign Secretary Menon what he expected in the upcoming

Composite Dialogue talks. Menon replied that there was much
to discuss on counterterrorism and that the Indian Government
had "some hard evidence" to present to the Pakistanis. "We
will ask for some specific things," Menon said, and will look
for "specific responses."

--------------
BALUCHISTAN AND LASHKAR-E-TAIBA
--------------


3. (C) Stability in Afghanistan is directly affected by
Pakistan, particularly because of cross border violence in
Baluchistan province, said Menon. "The problem," he said,
"has to do with where the threat in Afghanistan is coming
from," and noted that real reconciliation in Baluchistan will
be hard in the long term. Boucher assured Menon that
Musharraf considers the Taliban a threat to Pakistan, and
that he is determined to deal with the problem. When Boucher
suggested that India use the upcoming composite dialogue to
talk to Pakistan about their charges that the Indians are
using their presence in Afghanistan to support Baluch rebels,
Menon replied that India has been ready to talk to Pakistan
about the issue, but has received no response. "We have been
telling Musharraf we are ready to sit and talk with him and
President Karzai," said Menon, noting that he himself had
tried three times in the last six months to initiate talks

NEW DELHI 00007767 002.2 OF 005


and his predecessor Shyam Saran tried as well. Calling it a
"conversation that needs to happen," Menon assured Boucher
that India is prepared to be transparent and to have this
conversation at any level, any time.


4. (C) Turning to counter-terrorism, Boucher stated that
Lashkar-e-Taiba has morphed into a more diversified
organization no longer concentrated only on Kashmir. Menon
concurred, adding that Lashkar-e-Taiba's increasing profile
as a supposed social service organization and its expanding
terrorist agenda is worrying to India. Unable to prove
beyond the shadow of a doubt links between groups like this
and terrorism, India has made suggestions, rather than
demands, that Pakistan be proactive in the investigations of
these groups, Menon said. When Boucher offered that Pakistan
had taken the step of arresting Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz
Saeed, Menon countered that they had merely put him under
house arrest in his own guesthouse. Boucher noted that Hafiz
Saeed's Jammat-ud-Dawa is still not on the United Nations
terrorist list, having been blocked by China, who will not
agree to it until the East Turkistan Movement is added.
Boucher also noted that Musharraf says that he has shut down
the camps in Kashmir, and Menon replied that that that was
not necessarily effective because the Pakistani
Inter-Services Intelligence always funnels their support to
one group anyway. They think that it is "easier to manage
the jihad" this way.

--------------
SIACHEN GLACIER
--------------


5. (C) Menon expressed frustration that no progress has been
made on Siachen glacier. "The problem is that we thought we
had a deal," he emphasized, noting that no follow-through had
taken place after defense secretary talks. "It's a question
of swallowing the fact that we have to say where we are,"
remarked Menon, referring to the current Indian positions on
the ridge line above the Siachen glacier. When asked if
India would try again next week (at Foreign Secretary level
talks with Pakistan),Menon said they would, adding that it
would be very helpful if the U.S. voiced its stance on the
subject. "It makes it easier on Pakistan if someone else
says it, even if it's 80 percent what we said and 20 percent
what they said," opined Menon. Boucher queried whether a
visit by Prime Minister Singh to Pakistan would contribute to
a solution, to which Menon responded that India would never
make resolution of Siachen or Sir Creek a condition for a
visit. We would need the right atmosphere and "atmosphere
is a code word for terrorism" not occurring, Menon said. He
commented that Siachen doesn't cost either side as much as it
did ten years ago. He called Siachen more of a "political
problem," reiterating that it's hard to go back to the
negotiating table when a deal has already been made, but was
not adhered to.


NEW DELHI 00007767 003.2 OF 005


--------------
KASHMIR
--------------


6. (C) Boucher noted that India and Pakistan seem to be
making progress in Kashmir, to which Menon responded that
rhetoric on both sides is similar. The two issues to
address, Menon emphasized, are how to make an agreement stick
and whether or not Pakistan will implement it. Boucher
offered that, if the line of control becomes a border, India
will have what it always wanted. Menon disagreed, stating
that India's position remains what was defined in a
parliamentary resolution: it claims all of Kashmir.
However, Menon added that Kashmir should be dealt with
incrementally, through confidence-building measures,
increased trade and demilitarization, as a matter of
"welfare." "If you treat it as an issue of sovereignty, it
will go nowhere," he underlined, adding "it is important to
build a peace and not just make a grand gesture of words and
sign a piece of paper." When asked if the Indian Government
would extend an invitation to Pakistan's Foreign Minister
Kasuri when he visits India for the wedding of the daughter
of Mani Shankar Aiyer, Menon responded that it has not been
decided, but that they would "see what happens with Riaz
(Khan) first" in the composite dialogue talks.

--------------
BANGLADESH
--------------


7. (C) Menon raised Bangladesh, to which Boucher said that
solving the election commission problem is vital, pointing
out that election-related violence could spin out of control.
Menon responded that the threat of violence is a part of the
political process in many countries of the region, noting the
success such threats have had in Nepal for the Maoists.
Menon told Boucher that India's level of concern over
Bangladesh as a breeding ground for terrorists is quite high,
noting that the deterioration of law and order is
exacerbating the situation and making it easier for terror to
take root. "Bangladesh's president seems to understand (the
gravity of the situation),but throws his hands up and says
he can do nothing," Menon remarked. India has informed
Bangladesh that now is the time to crack down on terror, but
has not gone as far as saying it will work with Dhaka to this
end, according to Menon.

--------------
NEPAL
--------------


8. (C) When Boucher asked if the recent agreement meant
Nepal had avoided the worst or if worse was yet to come,
Menon replied that it is hard to say at this point. "It
seems the Maoists have crossed a great divide," he said, "and
it will be hard for them to go back" to fighting. Still, he

NEW DELHI 00007767 004.2 OF 005


stated it was certain the Maoists would violate the
agreement, adding that, "we will have to see what we can do
to limit their cheating." The ten million rupee assistance
program India has given Nepal is to strengthen the
government's capacity to function properly, said Menon. When
Boucher described the limited nature of U.S.-Nepal military
cooperation, Menon remarked that Koirala and his government
are "not very brave people." When queried on a possible
upcoming visit to India by Prachanda, Menon replied that the
Indian Government is not sure if he will come, especially
given the short time frame he has in which to confine his
army in cantonments. Regarding the United Nations' role,
Menon concurred with Boucher that the UN monitoring mission
needs to be set up very quickly.

--------------
SRI LANKA
--------------


9. (C) Little was achieved in the Geneva peace talks on Sri
Lanka, Boucher told Menon, noting that although Sri Lankan
officials had been told to come ready to negotiate, they were
not prepared. Menon replied that, fundamentally, the problem
is that, "both sides think they can win militarily -- and
both sides are wrong." Boucher underlined the importance of
talking about political settlement issues. "Norway thinks
that there is a basis for future rounds of talks," he said,
despite the lack of progress in Geneva, adding that there are
ways India could support the talks. "Norway always says
there is a basis for discussion, and there always is,"
replied Menon, asking rhetorically: "but can you solve this
structurally? Is there a realistic expectation of getting
through this process?" Both agreed that fair treatment of
the Tamils would help to ease their grievances and reduce the
need to fight, with Boucher noting that the government would
have more Tamils on its side if they were treated fairly.
Menon said Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee would visit Sri
Lanka soon, and that President Rajapakse is coming to India
as well. Many Sri Lankan political party leaders had also
visited India recently.

--------------
NORTH KOREA
--------------


10. (C) Responding to Menon's questioning on North Korea,
Boucher explained that Under Secretary Burns has been working
intensively on the challenge, which for now is on a
diplomatic path. He noted that China pressured North Korea
to return to Six-Party Talks, but must continue to exert
persistent pressure. Menon asked what would happen if the
Six Parties are unable to stop North Korea from pursuing its
nuclear program. Boucher responded that, if we do not
succeed diplomatically, the situation will worsen.

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

NEW DELHI 00007767 005.2 OF 005


CIVIL NUCLEAR DEAL AND VISAS
--------------


11. (C) Ambassador Mulford informed Menon that President
Bush and Senator Reid had expressed a desire for Senate
action on the civil nuclear deal during the lame-duck
session, and that he hoped it would be passed this year. He
also reported that the Embassy had succeeded in eliminating
the visa backlog and that, with continued support from the
Department, we could prevent future backlogs.

--------------
COMMENT: BUILDING INDIA'S TRUST
--------------


12. (C) Menon conveyed a willingness to be transparent with
Islamabad about India's presence in Afghanistan, but stressed
that approaches to Kashmir have to be incremental. Next
week's foreign secretary talks will focus on terrorism, but
neither side is signaling the likelihood of a breakthrough.
On Nepal, India says it is ready to help the government build
capacity, and prepared for Maoist violations of the recent
agreement. On terrorism concerns, India wants the U.S. to
pressure Bangladesh and act as an interlocutor with Pakistan,
but its greatest gesture remains its willingness to keep
talking to Pakistan, despite the ongoing terrorist threat in
the Indian heartland. The fact that India is exchanging
high level meetings with Sri Lanka is a good sign, but there
was no indication that India will become deeply involved in
future peace talks with the parties there. Ultimately,
India's increasing requests for U.S. assistance in dealing
with its neighbors represent a positive step forward in our
bilateral relationship. They demonstrate a growing trust
among Indian officials that the U.S. can be a positive force
in South Asia on issues of crucial concern to Indian
interests. END COMMENT.


13. (U) Assistant Secretary Boucher cleared this message.
MULFORD