July 3, 2001
Volume 2, #27
Pakistan President and Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf said that India was facing US pressure to negotiate with Pakistan, and that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would not have invited him for talks without pressure by the international community. An Indian external affairs ministry spokeswoman, however, denied that there was any pressure, stating, “It was our own decision.” Some Indian government officials said that Musharraf’s statement violated an agreement on halting political rhetoric in the run-up to the summit.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, saying he finds Pakistan President and Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf “sincere,” said that their upcoming summit would “address the entire gamut of issues bedevilling India-Pakistan relations, including, obviously, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, with a new vision and a strong sense of realism.” However, Pakistan officials said that differences remain over the agenda, with Pakistan wanting the summit to focus on Kashmir, while India wants confidence-building and trust-enhancing measures to be the centerpiece. Pakistan President and Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday that he would look for a “certain framework” to resolve Kashmir issue during the summit. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Vijay Kumar Nambiar was reported in the Pakistani media as saying that India has no hesitation to discuss the Kashmir issue at the summit as it is the “core issue” in terms of its nationhood.
India’s Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and the Pakistan Peace Coalition issued a joint statement on Friday urging Vajpayee and Musharraf to agree on a “nuclear freeze” during their summit..
A senior Pakistani official said that the two sides would hold three rounds of summit talks on July 15 for resolving the core issue of Kashmir. Musharraf and Vajpayee are expected to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in September if the outcome of the upcoming talks is positive.
Two Pakistani officials arrived in New Delhi on Monday to start preparations for the summit. Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf sent poet Ahmed Faraz, a friend of the former Indian prime minister I. K. Gujral and Atal Behari Vajpayee, as his special emissary for pre-summit negotiations. Faraz said that he hoped to prevail on friends in India to create an atmosphere conducive for negotiations. Top Pakistani intelligence and police officials were to visit New Delhi to coordinate security for Musharraf’s visit.
An Indian foreign ministry spokeswoman on Thursday reaffirmed that the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) would not be involved in the summit between Pakistan and India, saying “they have no role to play.” Yasin Malik, an APHC leader, accused Pakistan’s president of “ditching the Kashmiris when it matters most” and said there could be no results from a summit which excluded their representatives. Hizbul Mujahideen said that it did not pin much hopes in the summit, but viewed the stress by Musharraf on Kashmir as a positive development.
Retired General Mirza Aslam Beg, former head of the Pakistan armed forces, said that Pakistan had concluded by 1989 that it had an adequate nuclear deterrent and did not need to increase it. He added that he believed Pakistan now had no more than 30 nuclear weapons.
Twenty politicians out of 24 invited by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf attended an All Parties Conference to discuss the upcoming summit. Musharraf assured them that Kashmir would be the core issue and everything else would follow that. The Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan said that his party felt fully vindicated that Musharraf had decided to travel to India to discuss the Kashmir issue.
The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) boycotted the government’s consultative meeting. The Pakistan Muslim League demanded that Musharraf cancel his India trip and leave the matter to a future democratically-elected civil government.
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto says she does not expect any “substantive breakthrough” at the forthcoming summit because she thinks it is not driven by a genuine desire to bring about peace, but is being held under moral and diplomatic pressure.
Pakistani religious scholars expressed confidence and trust in President General Pervez Musharraf in his efforts to negotiate a resolution of the Kashmir issue in his summit talks in India.
3. Pakistan-US Talks on Summit
US sources confirmed that US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman will visit Pakistan in the beginning of July to discuss the upcoming summit. Outgoing US Ambassador to Pakistan William Milam expressed hope that the summit would lead to the settlement of outstanding issues facing the two countries.
US Ambassador Designate to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that US-Pakistan relations need to be redefined to promote “greater engagement.” Chamberlain faced opposition from critics who claimed she did little to defend members of the Hmong minority while she served as US Ambassador to Laos.
5. US Sanctions
Pakistan Ambassador to the US Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said that sanctions continue to cast a shadow on Pakistan-US relations. US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca said that democracy sanctions against Pakistan would remain in place until the US president was in a position to certify to Congress that a democratic process had been restored in the country.
The Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) adopted a unanimous resolution rejecting the assumption of the presidency by General Pervez Musharraf, holding that the Constitution has ceased to exist and parliamentary system has converted into a unitary form of governance. The national lawyer’s convention demanded immediate restoration of the 1973 Constitution, withdrawal of Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), removal of armed forces from the political scene and restoration of political activities in the country.
Lahore High Court Judge Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday dismissed three petitions against General Pervez Musharraf’s elevation to the office of President, arguing that the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), not the Constitution, is the law.
Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations Henry Hyde called on the Musharraf government to restore the democratic process.
Sources said that Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee held detailed discussions with External Affairs and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh on Thursday to prepare for the upcoming summit with Pakistan. Dawn reported that Bal Thackeray, leader of the Hindu Shiv Sena party, warned that his party will withdraw from the government if Vajpayee cedes parts of Kashmir to Pakistan in the upcoming summit.
The Hindustan Times quoted government sources as downplaying expectations for the upcoming summit, emphasizing that it is the resumption of talks that is important rather than the talks themselves.
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee’s principal secretary Brajesh Mishra held a series of official meetings with US Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and CIA chief George Tenet on the upcoming summit. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton, is due to visit India for three days in the middle of this month, but it was unclear whether his visit would precede or follow the Pakistan-India summit.
India and the US decided during a two-day meeting of an official-level joint working group to intensify their cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism through a regular exchange of information and an institutional mechanism. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) told Delhi police that Osama bin Laden has asked his groups to carry out attacks at US installations in India.
White House aides were quoted Sunday as saying that US President George W. Bush intends to end sanctions against India in a matter of months.
India and Russia said in a joint statement that they agreed to forge a coordinated strategy to deal with threats of terrorism, narcotics and “extremist ideology” emanating from Afghanistan.
Officials from India and the PRC began the ninth round of Expert Group consultations on the task of clarifying the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, presided over by Pakistan President Musharraf, adopted a statement calling for a peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of its people through all possible means, including a substantive and meaningful dialogue with India.
Leaders of Azad Kashmir and representatives of some international Kashmiri organizations on Thursday called upon Musharraf to adopt a “tough stand” on the Kashmir issue in his talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. They reiterated that the issue should be resolved in the light of the United Nations resolutions. Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, proposed that the summit agree to allow reunions of tens of thousands of families divided by conflict in the region.
A news website reported that the All Parties Hurriyat Conference may get the audience it has sought with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf when he visits New Delhi for summit with Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee.
Chief of Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) Maulana Fazlur Rahman demanded that the Indian army and Kashmiri mujahideen declare a ceasefire ahead of the Pakistan-India dialogue on Kashmir. However, top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Syed Salahuddin ruled out a ceasefire.
3. Indian Position on Kashmir
Dawn quoted diplomatic sources as saying, “There is a strong policy interest in Delhi which is willing to accept a solution to Kashmir short of its absorption in the Indian Union.” However, spokesperson of the Indian External Affairs Ministry ruled out any compromise on the position that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. The spokesperson also said that India had conveyed to Pakistan its opposition to any idea of a meeting between General Pervez Musharraf and the Hurriyat leadership during next month’s summit.
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf said that rivalry over Kashmir was the only significant obstacle to friendly ties with India, adding that with sincerity from both the sides, the dispute could be resolved in less than a year. However, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, President of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy, said that although the alliance favored peace between India and Pakistan, it did not expect any breakthrough on Kashmir issue since both governments had failed to create a conducive atmosphere for fruitful talks.
The chairman of the US House of Representatives foreign relations committee, Henry Hyde, said that he hoped that the issue of Kashmir will one day be resolved on the basis of self-determination, which is the essence of democracy.
The 28th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopted four resolutions on Kashmir, including resolutions on financial assistance to Kashmiri people and preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of Kashmir.
Dawn reported that residents in Kashmir near the Line of Control are fleeing in advance of the summit, fearing reprisals from militants. The Jang reported that Indian army patrols in Kashmir have been forcing civilians to search for land mines and booby traps.