Don`t push us too far on Kashmir, it’s ours: Pak told US

US had asked Pakistan in 2002 to end infiltration across the Line of Control in J and K but was instead told not to "push it too far" on the issue with an assertion that "Kashmir should have been ours".

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2010, 00:02 AM IST

Washington: US had asked Pakistan in 2002
to end infiltration across the Line of Control in J and K but
was instead told not to "push it too far" on the issue with an
assertion that "Kashmir should have been ours", according to
declassified documents.

This communication forms part of a meeting Richard
Haass, the then Director of Policy Planning Staff at the US
State Department, had with an unnamed Pakistani military
official on October 31, 2002 to discuss US-Pak cooperation a
year after the deadly 9/11 attacks in the US.

"On Kashmir, Hass stressed the importance of ending
infiltration, but the Pak official warned the US not to
push Pakistan too far on Kashmir," classified documents
released yesterday said.

According to the document, Hass told the top official
that he was pleased about the (Indian) announcement of troop
pullback from the border as de-escalation would free resources
to be devoted to sealing the Afghan border and
counter-terrorism.

"It appeared that India wanted to renew contacts but
continued infiltration was a barrier to progress," Hass said.

"The US believed that infiltration was continuing.
Stopping it would help Pakistan`s cause with the US and India.
Infiltration hurts Pakistan`s friends efforts to help it," he
said, according to the documents.

The Pak official agreed that Kashmir was the issue
"bedevilling our relations". But Pakistan’s Kashmir position
was "based on justice", he argued.

"Kashmir should have been ours. The Pakistani people
would not agree to make the LOC (Line of Control) the
international border. Kashmir had cost Musharraf a lot, as had
his decision to help the CT coalition.

"Musharraf`s detractors had hit him on both Kashmir
and Afghanistan. India had tried to exploit the political
atmosphere after 9/11," the Pak official said.

"Hass relied that he perceived an opportunity to
improve the situation in and surrounding Kashmir. India seemed
to realize that lack of political and economic opportunity and
abuse of human rights created support for insurgency and a
better context for diplomacy was now being created.

"Haas said that both improved governance and diplomacy
were key to moving forward on Kashmir," the documents said.

At the same meeting, Pakistan pleaded with the US to
provide it with an aerial surveillance capability.

Pakistan would have no objection to the same
capability being provided to India, the Pakistani official
said and proposed that it might be an excellent confidence
building measure, as if the two sides could see what was
happening across the border to reduce the possibility of
misconstruing what the other side was doing, the documents
said.

PTI