‘Manmohan, Musharraf reached deal on Kashmir’

A US diplomatic cable, leaked by WikiLeaks, has revealed that India and Pakistan had in 2007 reached a deal on the Kashmir issue when Pervez Musharraf was the President.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A US diplomatic cable, leaked by WikiLeaks, has revealed that India and Pakistan had in 2007 reached a deal on the Kashmir issue when Pervez Musharraf was the President.

According to reports emerging today, the cable cited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as telling a senior visiting US delegation in 2008 that a “non-territorial solution” had been agreed upon.

While the revelation is not new, as many Pakistani politicians and diplomats have spoken about the same in the past, but it is the first time a reaction from the Indian side has come to the fore.

According to the cable, the PM told a visiting American delegation headed by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman in April 2008 that significant progress had been achieved prior to February 2007 when Musharraf, the country’s former Army Chief, was serving as the President. Musharraf was ousted from power in that year itself.

“We had reached an understanding in back channels in which Musharraf had agreed to a non-territorial solution to Kashmir that included freedom of movement and trade,” the cable cited Singh as saying. “The Prime Minister added that India wants a strong, stable, peaceful, democratic Pakistan and makes no claim on ‘even an inch’ of Pakistani territory,” the cable added.

There had been speculation of a deal being worked upon when Musharraf had at that time announced a four-point formula and Singh spoke about making borders irrelevant. A plea to make the contentious Siachen Glacier a mountain of peace was also made. However, New Delhi has so far made no official confirmation of any such deal.

It is believed that the solution also included free trade and movement across the Line of Control.

Musharraf`s four points, meanwhile, included demilitarization, maximum autonomy, making border irrelevant and joint management of the area.