Breakthrough On Kashmir Was Likely In 2007: Kasuri

Breakthrough On Kashmir Was Likely In 2007: Kasuri

4 January 2014
The News International
Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

Islamabad: Former Foreign Minister and central leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Mian Khurshid Kasuri has revealed that the leadership of Pakistan and India had worked out about 80 to 90 percent details for resolution of Kashmir dispute while the accord on Sir Creek was ready for signatures and the two sides had developed understanding for the resolution of Siachen in 2007. But judicial crisis stalled Indian prime minister’s visit to Pakistan, who had to cover left over 10 to 15 percent details regarding the Kashmir dispute before announcement of its settlement. He claimed that the Armed Forces and even Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were fully on board in settlements of the disputes with India. “It was a tactical move that the impression was subsequently given that the Armed Forces were not happy with the settlements of disputes with India since the move became necessary in the backdrop of developments in Afghanistan,” the former Foreign Minister added. Offering his comments on the disclosure of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that Pakistan and India had nearly reached the settlement of their disputes, but the developments in Pakistan scuttled the historic way forward is vindication of his standpoint since long that he had been saying about it for quite sometimes. “I will divulge all the details about the natty gritty of the relevant developments of the whole episode in my book, appearing soon,” he said. Mian Khurshid Kasuri is known as an architect of new trends and liberalism in the Foreign Policy of the country paid tribute to the Jang-Geo ‘Aman ki Asha’ and said that it has played significant role in the direction for peace between the two countries. He said at least five to six people from the both countries have complete knowledge of the talks between the two countries while the record is also available in both the capitals about the progress and the same could be helpful for further engagement of the two countries. He revealed that Pakistan and India’s high officials were engaged in quiet diplomacy for three years to reach consensus and they had meetings in twenty different world capitals in between. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former ruler retired General Pervez Musharraf are loggerhead with each other, and they have serious political differences but the both are having unanimity of views pertaining to negotiated and peaceful settlement of the disputes with India. While referring to wiki-leaks, Khurshid Kasuri reminded that former US ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson had meeting with him in 2010 in the presence of General Ashfaq Pervez Kaiani the then Army Chief in Lahore and he (Kasuri) suggested that former Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan should be appointed Pakistan’s point-man on backchannel diplomacy since he was privy to the settlements of the disputes between two countries.General Kaiani endorsed the proposal and subsequently Riaz Muhammad Khan was accordingly appointed. Giving glimpse of Kashmir dispute resolution, he said that the leaders of Kashmir from the both sides had meetings in Islamabad, New Delhi and European capitals. Kashmir will be having special status as it was agreed between Sheikh Abdullah and Jawahar Lal Nehru in their talks in early 50s. Presence of Indian Army in the urban areas would be thinned out. A joint mechanism will be established across the Line of Control (LOC). The understanding had some other features as well. The agreement would be reviewed after every 10 to 15 years. Mian Khurshid Kasuri is of the view that Pakistan and India have fought five wars on Kashmir, including three major and two limited wars. It has to come to an end as both the countries are nuclear. He said that it is not essential that hundred percent people of Pakistan, India and Kashmir would be agreed to such solution, but majority of the people of the region would endorse the settlement for the sake of peace and prosperity of the area. Kasuri is hopeful that India will have a strong government in the wake of upcoming polls in that country, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has throughout been pleading for peaceful neighbourly ties with India, could take benefit from the work that has already been done for the peace between the two courtiers, and he could take initiative for the same purpose by carrying forward the process after Indian elections. Mian Kasuri is of the opinion that Pakistan and India cannot live in peace as long they don’t settle the dispute regarding Jammu and Kashmir. He said that peace and stability couldn’t endure in vacuum and for the reason Pakistan will have to make rapid development in economy and other sectors of the national life.