‘Separatists Were Not On Board For Musharraf’s K Formula’

‘Separatists Were Not On Board For Musharraf’s K Formula’

13 February 2011
Rising Kashmir
Zubair A Dar

New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist leaders remained a major hurdle for successful conclusion of talks started under former Pakistan President, Parvaiz Musharraf to resolve Kashmir. This was stated by former Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Dr Humayun Khan here Sunday. The former diplomat also termed Musharraf’s claims that India and Pakistan were close to resolving Kashmir issue as “over-optimistic”. Khan, who was involved in the back channel deliberations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and other issues, was addressing the opening session of a two-day conference – Common Interests, Common Future: Dialogue across the LoC – organized by Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. “Musharraf claims that he had taken not only Azad Kashmir but also separatist leaders into confidence. I feel that is not altogether true,” Khan said. “The views of Kashmiri leaders remained a major hurdle in concluding talks,” he added. He said India and Pakistan were conscious of the fact that Kashmir resolution was not possible without including people of Kashmir. But he expressed doubt over the claims that Kashmiri leaders supported the solution proposed by Musharraf. “I think the disclosures by Musharraf and Kasuri that Kashmir was near solution were over-optimistic,” he said. “Moreover,” he added, “no public opinion had been solicited, especially in a country like India where public opinion demands that something like this is debated openly.” Khan said that fresh efforts at Track-II between India and Pakistan didn’t enjoy the wholehearted support from Islamabad “which was more keen on discussing Kashmir through front-channel”. “Army seems to be having a second thought on Track-II,” he said. Referring to the differences in perception on the two sides, the former diplomat said, “Indians are saying, we’ve made considerable progress in the back channel, let us take it up from there, but the Pakistani side in an apparent reversal of position, are saying that the back channel is not valid anymore, and that lets open it up to the front channel.” Khan insisted on using all the channels to resume talks over Kashmir. “I think all channels should be kept open, back channel should be pursued and the front channel too.” He said Pakistan must act against the perpetrators of Mumbai attack to infuse new life into the dialogue process. “Dialogue has been restarted but I do not think that it absolves Pakistan of the responsibility to act against people responsible for the outrageous act in Mumbai. And if dialogue has to progress, action on Mumbai remains imperative,” Khan said. At the same time, he said, India has the opportunity to show that action on Samjhauta attack is more vigorous. “I think that would be even more helpful for the dialogue.”


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