Editor Note: This special report was originally published by Daily Mail Islamabad.
From Makhdoom Babar
HONG KONG- Pakistan has very strongly, yet in a polite manner, rejected India’s formula of resuming Composite Dialogue with Islamabad minus engagement of IOK-based freedom leadership of Hurriyat Conference, reveal the investigations, carried out by The Daily Mail.
Highly authoritative sources from amongst the international diplomatic community told The Daily Mail that during the visit to India last month, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry had made it very clear to Narendra Modi that Delhi’s stance of freezing dialogue process with Pakistan was by no means acceptable to Washington. According to these sources, during his encounter with Narendra Modi, in which he snubbed Modi very strongly over RAW’s deep nexus with TTP and India’s patronizing Mulla Fazalullah terror ring in Afghanistan, Kerry also rejected India’s stance on calling off the FS level Talks with Pakistan on the grounds of Pakistan’s efforts of keeping Kashmiri Hurriyat leadership on board in the process. “In fact Indians were very strongly told by the Americans that the engaging of Hurriyat leadership by Pakistan in the dialogue process was very much in line with global norms and practices and in Kashmir case, the same kept going on for decades with no objection over it. India therefore had “no locus standi” in canceling the Talks, Modi was told. “Engaging all parties with stakes in the issue had to be encouraged rather than being confronted with,” said a senior diplomat, familiar to the development.
The sources said that with this unexpected development on part of Washington, Indians went heads over heels and Modi sought some time from Kerry led American side to resume the Composite Dialogue with Pakistan, saying that it would be very embarrassing and loss of face for him in domestic politics to early retract his stance. He, however, promised to get the Dialogue process back on track in shortest possible time. According to these sources, it was this high level assurance by India to the US that the issue was not further discussed by US President Barack Obama during his follow-up visit to India as it was thought decided and done. Modi took a convenient refuge under the ‘Cricket Diplomacy’ by calling Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to convey best wishes for the World Cup and offering in the process to send his Foreign Secretary to discuss resumption of Dialogue.
Indian NSA Ajit Kumar Doval with Pakistani High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit during one of the meetings between the two
Earlier, according to The Daily Mail’s investigations Modi had tasked his National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval to handle the issue. These investigations reveal that initially Doval prepared a formula of getting the Kashmir issue off the Agenda during the first stage of resumption of Dialogue, which has eight basic discussion segments. However, when Pakistan was found to be in a different tone, this idea was dropped and the plan of holding FS level talks without Hurryiat leadership’s engagement was floated. Moreover, under the new development and owing to the US reprimand of India for pampering Mulla Fazalullah network, Indians also dropped their consistent demand of discussing terror as basic and opening issue in the Dialogue. The latest developments have pushed the Indians on the back foot as Delhi’s nexus with the regional terror networks has fully come to fore.
According to The Daily Mail’s investigations, Ajit Kumar Doval, setting aside the Ministry of External Affairs got himself engaged with Pakistani High Commissioner, Abdul Basit over the issue of resumption of Composite Dialogue and held many rounds of talks with him. During these meetings, Doval floated the formula of holding Pak-India Composite Dialogue, without engaging Kashmiri leadership of IOK and suggested that Pakistani High Commission could keep interacting with Hurriyat leadership over banquets on the eves of National or religious events like the National Day; Independence Day, Eid and Ramzan Iftar dinners. Doval suggested that Delhi would be having no objection over such an interaction of Pakistan high Commission in India with Hurriyat leaders but there should be no formal interaction or consultations before or after holding of Pakistan -India Talks. The Indian Agencies have recently started deliberate leaks to their media; feeding inspired reports to create an impression that continued practice of Hurriyat consultations by Pakistan would be unacceptable. This is being done by New Delhi to preset the tone and tenure of the Talks to its liking. Indian media has reported, citing a senior Indian official “Basit and Doval spoke frankly about sensitivities on both sides”.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that Pakistan’s High Commissioner discussed the development with Pakistan government back in Islamabad. He was clearly directed by Islamabad to strongly reject this Doval scripted formula of Indians and to convey it to New Delhi that such a compromise was completely out of question and no Talks on Kashmir could be held with India without Islamabad taking Kashmiri leadership on board and in complete confidence. “Pakistan government has consistently been maintaining the “resolution to Kashmir issue could only be done in accordance with the wishes, aspirations and satisfaction of people of Kashmir” and thus there cannot be even an iota of doubt in anyone’s mind that Pakistan-India Talks could ever be held without comprehensive engagement of Kashmiri leadership. Pakistan government cannot even think in this direction what to talk of accepting any such formula,” said a senior official at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad, while talking to The Daily Mail on phone, when approached.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that Ajit Doval also tried to lure Abdul Basit and Islamabad by saying that India would not be insisting on holding discussion on terrorism to start the dialogue if the minus Hurriyat formula is accepted by Islamabad. These investigations further reveal that at this, Doval was asked that Pakistan would be having no objection to discuss terrorism to start the dialogue as it would prefer to start by asking India to explain as to why its Intelligence agencies and State actors were nurturing, funding and facilitating terrorism in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan province and Waziristan Agencies and via Afghanistan. Doval was also asked to convey it to New Delhi that Pakistan was looking forward to a speedy and solid advancement from India to punish the proven accused of Samjhauta Express terror attack including prime accused Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit. Pakistan will also demand immediate proscribing of Hindutva terror outfit; Abhinav Bharat, freezing its assets and financing, and placing movement restrictions on its current and erstwhile members.