The US’ policy of non-mediation on Kashmir issue and to encourage India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute through dialogue was developed in the early 1950s, according to a recently released declassified document. According to the top-secret 1954 document, which was declassified and made public by the CIA in July, the US had arrived at a conclusion that it is only India and Pakistan, which can resolve the dispute over Kashmir through peace and dialogue.
This is amply reflected in para 42 of the Operation Coordination Board, which was set by the then US President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954, responsible for integrating implementation of national security policies across several agencies. “Continue to make clear to India that the Kashmir issue should be settled by mutual agreement between India and Pakistan, that the United States is willing to assist through the UN and by other means, but that the US has no ulterior motives or hidden objectives which would be fostered by settlement in favour of either country,” said paragraph 42 of the document.
This was part of the “United States Policy towards South Asia” approved by Eisenhower on March 6, 1954. Operations Coordinating Board was designated as the coordinating agency for the implementation of the US Policy towards South Asia.
“The US has continued to make clear its views that the Kashmir issue should be settled by mutual agreement between India and Pakistan,” said a 1954 report on the progress if implementation of this policy, as such making it clear that it no longer favoured a plebiscite in Kashmir as demanded by Pakistan, citing a UN resolution. The Operation Coordination Board was abolished by President John Kennedy in 1961. It is under this 1953 policy of Eisenhower that the US on December 6, 1954, ended its participation in the UN mission in Jammu and Kashmir after the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru raised objections in this regard.
This policy again finds reference in the Operation Coordination Board report of 1955. “Make clear to Pakistan that our objective in the Kashmir issue is a solution acceptable to both India and Pakistan and that in this issue we are not prepared to support either country against the other,” the document said.