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‘Obama offered Pak to nudge India on Kashmir’

The letter “even hinted at addressing Pakistan’s oft-stated desire for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute”.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington |
November 6, 2013 1:40:24 am

US President Barack Obama in 2009 secretly told Pakistan that he would nudge India towards negotiations on Kashmir in lieu of it ending support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban,but Islamabad had rejected the offer.

“Since the 1950s Pakistan had wanted an American role in South Asia. Now it was being offered one. In the end Pakistan would have to negotiate the Kashmir issue directly with India. But at least now the American president was saying that he would nudge the Indians toward those negotiations,” Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani writes in his book Magnificent Delusions,in stores on Tuesday.

This is Haqqani’s interpretation of the secret letter written by Obama to then President Asif Ali Zardari,which was hand delivered by his then National Security Advisor Gen (Retd) James Jones. The letter’s content is for the first time being disclosed by Haqqani,the then Pakistan’s envoy to the US.

In his book,Haqqani writes that in November 2009,through the letter Obama offered Pakistan to become America’s “long-term strategic” partner.

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The letter “even hinted at addressing Pakistan’s oft-stated desire for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute”.

“Obama wrote that the US would tell countries of the region that ‘the old ways of doing business are no longer acceptable’. He acknowledged that some countries (a reference to India) had used ‘unresolved disputes to leave open bilateral wounds for years or decades. They must find ways to come together’,” Haqqani writes.

“But in an allusion to Pakistan,he (Obama) said,‘Some countries have turned to proxy groups to do their fighting instead of choosing a path of peace and security. The tolerance or support of such proxies cannot continue’,” the former diplomat writes quoting from the letter. PTI

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