India-Pakistan “secret pact” – was Kashmir accord just a signature away?

April 28, 2010

India and Pakistan held secret talks for more than three years, reached an accord on the thorny Kashmir issue and had almost unveiled it in 2007 before domestic turmoil in Pakistan derailed it, former Pakistani foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri has revealed.

A Border Security Force(BSF) soldier stands guard next to the national flags of India (L) and Pakistan near the Pakistan border in Chamliyal, 45 km west of Jammu, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Amit GuptaKasuri says the two nuclear-armed rivals, who rule the Himalayan region in parts, had agreed to full demilitarisation of both the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir with a package of loose autonomy on both sides of the Line of Control, a military control line that divides the region between two nations.

“We agreed on a point between complete independence and autonomy,” Kasuri told Times of India.

Almost all Kashmir leaders except hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani came on board and agreed on the accord that was to be signed during a visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Islamabad scheduled for February-March 2007.

It never happened. The then Pakistan president, Pervez Musharraf, lost power and the country plunged into turmoil.

The “secret deal” had come despite six decades of distrust and other festering disputes between the two countries who have fought wars over Kashmir.

Has Kashmir, the region that has bled for twenty years, lost an opportunity for peace and permanent settlement?

An editorial in The Times of India says that the 2007 secret deal has another interesting implication.

“The Pakistani army has always been viewed as the prime obstacle in any process of rapprochement, and with good reason. But such a deal could not have come into existence without it being on board, especially as it happened during Musharraf’s watch,” says The Times of India editorial “Back To The Future“.

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan signalled that their prime ministers will talk this week in Bhutan, in a meeting seen as crucial for resuming a peace dialogue and preventing further deterioration in their ties.

The secret deal, for dealing with the Kashmir dispute, remains a hope for the weary people of the region and for peace in the subcontinent.


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I think this solution should be revisited now more than ever. I hope the two PMs talk about reviving the effort at the SAARC conference. Too much blood has been spilled in this region and it is time peace is given a chance. I know India will be sincere if it makes a promise. Will the radical elements inside Pakistan allow their civilian rulers to keep their promise? Where is the gurantee that LeT and other militant groups will not use the peace to infiltrate, intimidate and take over the reigns in Kashmir while peace is being maintained? Pakistani government will wave their hands off saying they are non state actors and there is not much they could do about it. All the elements in Pakistan – their civil government, their military, their intelligence, their radical groups have to agree to honor the proposed treaty. Pakistan resembles its cricket team a lot – there are too many captains, selectors and each one says a different thing. Let us see if Pakistan unanimously makes an announcement for such a solution. India will not fail to keep its commitment if Pakistanis are sincere. I think we should work towards a solution and move on.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

OOOOOOPS….what an unfortunate news for Kashmir? But the secret talks still hold hope for Kashmir. The news is encouraging that these two countries had agreed to end dispute over Kashmir. I hope sanity prevails and the upcing talks revive the “secret accrod”.

Posted by shugufta | Report as abusive

Secret accord, huh?! Is Pakistan certain if its diplomats who agreed on some peace deal on Kashmir were state or non-state actors? Gotta love the non-state actors; they always come handy when Pakistan has to wash its hands from its obligations. The present government in Pakistan has declared to withdraw the gains made durig the Musharraf era.

Posted by NPegasus | Report as abusive

If some muslims living in Indian Kashmir are having problems staying in India, that’s called “Kashmir problem”….

…..If some muslims living in “pakistan” are agitated (or pretend) to be agitated about muslims living in Indian Kashmir that is called “pakistan problem”…..

If anyone still thinks Kashmir “dispute” is the reason for pakistan’s problems when a million things are imploding inside pakistan are still drinking coolaid…or just doing this out of sheer habit, don’t know anything else to do….

If the new spin (lie) of Indus water sharing “dispute” is the excuse for “pakistan”‘s agitation over Kashmir, “solving” kashmir “dispute” will still not solve the water problem since the upper riparians in Kashmir will still have the same claim and dismiss (pak) punjabi claims of “stealing” water.

Even if the entire Jammu Kashmir state along with its hapless Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist population is handed over to “pakistan”, there is no gurantee (pak) Punajbis will abandon terrorism, anti-India hostility, etc.

Thus statu quo will continue. Lot of water has flown down (and some stopped by India, LOL!) Indus since 2007. There is even less reason for India to accomodate “pakistan” now.

Posted by Seekeroftruth | Report as abusive

Secret parleys between corrupt and incompetent leaderships of India , Pakistan or so called Kashmiri leaders , can never bring peace in the Kashmir. People of Kashmir should have greater say in such matters. Geographically and politically, Kashmir has been divided into several regions : Jammu Region : mostly dominated by Hindus, Laddakh region mostly dominated by Budhists , Part of Kashmir under Chinese occupation, and part of Kashmir under Pakistani occupation, and Kashmir valley region under Indian occupation . There should be clear referendum region wise, let the people of all these regions should express their wishes , for last so many decades no gallop poll has been conducted to find wishes of people : whether they want an autonomous region, whether they want to join Indian federation, or pakistan . There is no need of any secret accord , people’s wishes and preferences should have last say.

Posted by manishindia | Report as abusive

It is unfortunate that this “secret pact” did not mature. The only worry is that now Musharraf is not there and it is hard to tell if the present army leadership i willing to go ahead with any kind of such deal. Kashmiris expect the both countries would display flexibility and revive the 2007 pact. That will be a great thing that will happen in the sub continent.

Posted by Danny1234 | Report as abusive

If Mushraf and Manmohan could not do it few years back, some one has to rise above the stated positions of their countries to resolve the Kashmir problem. For long lasting peace in the region, Kashmir has to be resolved necessarily and it will good for the health of both the countries.

Posted by Majid11 | Report as abusive

@seeker of truth,
i dont understand which truth are you seeking, but the bitter fact is that India and pakistan can have secret pacts or deals which may or may not work for you,the real thing is that we kashmiri’s dont belong to both of you, contemplate each other (India & Pakistan)delete Hindu muslim thing you will find a lot of similarities between Inians & pakistanies but we kasmiries are seperate nation geographically historically and politically

Posted by ajaz123 | Report as abusive

it is important that negotiations be resumed because Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government with which Islamabad negotiated the arrangement is still in power.
It mus have taken great efforts through the back-channel diplomacy to resolve all outstanding issues between two countries, let them not waste that exercise and resolve Kashmir according to wishes of Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis and live in peace.

Posted by ajaz123 | Report as abusive

It is important for both the leaders to find a solution to this problem, as Kashmiri’s have already suffered a lot from State terrorism. This will also solve one of the major issues between the two countries.

Posted by SZaman88 | Report as abusive

It was another act of terrorism in which a person of immense importance was killed. If the government of Afghanistan is willing to hold talks with tribal leaders who are important for sustainable peace in the region then the on ground situation can change.

Posted by SZaman88 | Report as abusive

We love to put blinkers on if the reality is stark, and against our perceptions. One crore people demand their right is Kashmir problem. 1 lakh people killed in Jammu and Kashmir is testimony to the case Kashmiris are fighting for. If 90,000 people, who migrated because they thought India is their country not Kashmir,think they are not part of it thus it’s not an issue, they are befooling themselves. From China, to EU to America to Iran to Arabs, Kashmir is an issue. If Arabs decided to stop oil to India, it will in no time release it. If China pushes its froces from Arunachal and demands Kashmir’s soltuion, Indian will bend down. If few hundren people dont think Kashmir is not a problem, it’s their problem. I think it’s unfortunate that Pak, India is delaying a solution to the Kashmir, making its people’s life miserable and prolonging suffering. I wish all to return to Kashmir who left because of conflict. Pleas talk and resolve Kashmir: My appeal to India, Pakiustan

Posted by Kaul | Report as abusive

I dont think there was any “secret pact”. India Pakistan have lived in decades of mistrust and enimity, how can they reach an accord in such a short time. It may take another decade but why dont they let Kashmir to live in peace. These two countries are responsible for the bloodshed and in Kashmir and both countries use Kashmir in thier domestic politics. They dont want peace in Kashmir. Once peace, if, returns to Kashmir, leaders of these two countries will have nothing t sell to people of the subcontinent to gain vote. only God can save Kashmir from these two enemies.

Posted by haleema11 | Report as abusive

Well, let’s hope they get back to discussing the Kashmir issue – a partial autonomy would be the only practical solution. Also having faith in the other country matters a little. Demilitarization could reach a reasonable equilibrium wherein crime is limited to small local groups, not funded externally anymore (gangs would be an appropriate word). Perhaps this “cold” war between India and Pakistan could end in 15-20 years and we could see some across-the-border economic, education and art collaboration. Growing the Pakistani and Kashmiri economy should be a priority.

Posted by adraghavan | Report as abusive

@it is important that negotiations be resumed because Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government with which Islamabad negotiated the arrangement is still in power.
It mus have taken great efforts through the back-channel diplomacy to resolve all outstanding issues between two countries, let them not waste that exercise and resolve Kashmir according to wishes of Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis and live in peace.”
—-Posted by ajaz123

—-But Pakistan wants to forget all those back chaneel efforts and want to restart the process. That tells how serious they are about solving kashmir.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

This secret pact needs to be discussed in open in the public domain. Why was Mr Geelani against it. Was he totally opposed to the pact? or this is just a political propaganda to take away peoples support to Geelani. I believe the material out here is too ample to to be commented. Can i know where i can get the complete details regarding the topic?

Posted by true112 | Report as abusive

track two diplomacy is in itself a big thing….but its failure seem to a delibrate attempt by those who are gaining out of this conflict:
for a time being if kashmir needs some stability Autonomy is a good option, but there must be demilitrization so that people will at least feel the change. although the two PRIMOS during ther meeting in Bhutan have descided to work for a better tommorrow, but only comming time can tell us how better tommorrow will they bring for kashmir:
dear writer: keep up your good thoughts and keep sharing…
please share what role can china play at this moment to bring peace in kashmir:

Posted by littlemiss | Report as abusive

It mus have taken great efforts through the back-channel diplomacy to resolve all outstanding issues between two countries, let them not waste that exercise and resolve Kashmir according to wishes of Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis

Posted by emm99 | Report as abusive

i doubt the statement of any such pact. its hard to believe that the governments of both the side reached to some conclusions. India keeps affirming its stand that Kashmir is its integral part… thenits hard to believe why it would demiliterize its own territory at the behest of any other country. it leaves a mark on its sovereignity. furthur i doubt if the leadership really want to reach any peace pact as they dont want to loose international attention…

Posted by ahtishaan11 | Report as abusive

These two countries are bound to solve the thorny issue, but I dont know why they are delaying it. Although 2007 secret accrod is a missed oppertunity but we can still hope that these two nations someday will feel the pain of Kashmir and let us stay in peace.

Whatever be the solution, it should be permanent and accetable to all parties involved in the dispute.

Posted by gul11 | Report as abusive

It is hardly a secret that some sort of an agreement was reached at on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) between India and Pakistan during the Musharraf era. But what was not quite known was the nature of what was actually agreement on. And who was party to the accord.

But there are some other fascinatingly chilling points in Mr. Kasuri’s account of this secret accord as well. He has taken a kind of responsibility for advising President Musharraf against inviting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and making the plan public. The reason given by Mr. Kasuri is that his country’s political environment at that time was too chaotic to make such a plan public. Firstly, the opposition � which was already on the roll against Musharraf – would have taken the accord as a sell-out to India. Secondly, President Musharraf was increasingly losing ground to the lawyers’ movement.

Posted by gul11 | Report as abusive

In my opinion this is the only viable solution to resolve kashmir issue. Time has come when both country’s should do something to stop the bloodshed. Already thousands of people have lost their lives in Kashmir.

Posted by humastore | Report as abusive

The revelation made by Kasuri is a shocking news for the people of Kashmir. It means that both India and Pakistan had reached an agreement without taking into account the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Kasuri may have revealed that all separatist leaders except Geelani was on board but the common people don’t know anything about it. Such a deal is bound to fail. Sheikh Abdullah did a similar agreement with India without the approval of people and the consequence was a armed rebellion from the people of Kashmir that has taken its toll in the form of 100 thousand lives. India and Pakistan must understand that any agreement reached by them without considering the people of Jammu and Kashmir is bound to boomerang.

Posted by Omder | Report as abusive

India Pakistan have been talking about peace process since decades but they haven’t come up with anything positive till date.i wish this peace talk could resolve kashmir issue but i dont believe in any of the two countries.this is just an eyewash for innocent people of kashmir.

Posted by shanuzhat | Report as abusive

True or not? but if truw its a good sighn that the leaders really want to sort out the base of the conflict/ we can just keep hoping that such steps are carried forward and soon the problem is solved

Posted by shanny | Report as abusive

Dont know how many reveleations lay in store unrevealed…. but no one is bothered about these catching news. tired of all these… Results are needed…. cant live life on sansi-kheez news

Posted by ushiee | Report as abusive

This is a sell out, and we Kashmiris knew Pakistan will sell Kashmir for peanuts to India. That is what this deal was all about. All conscious Kashmiri should get together and start rasing vuioce against such kind of deal. Kashmiris should be party to any kind of such futre talks that is aimed at finding a solution to Kashmir problem.

Posted by citybuilders | Report as abusive

these two countries have been taking since decades and have not been able to reach any agreement. these secret talks suggest that sanity has prevailed and most probably india has realised that it is paying a heavy prices in kashmir and outside kashmir by not solving the problem. Let us hope they pick up broken threads and start seriuts talks in kashmir and solve the issue and bring security in the whole region

Posted by kuku123 | Report as abusive

Kashmir solution is not possible as long as current attitude of Pakistan persists. Clearly they think PoK is their territory and they do not have any harm brewing voilence across the border. Whatever the pact was, I dont think it would lead to a solution in a long run unless current LoC is converted to International border. Other wasy of handling this problems will always be futile because of the militants, vested interests of politicians, and failure of the stakeholders to comply with the temporary agreements, etc.

Posted by PNK | Report as abusive

I would suggest that both India and Pakistan allow the leaders of Kashmir from both sides to convene a conference and find a solution. Both countries should pledge to support both sides politically, economically and financialy in their endeavour to find the solution. Leaving aside the differences of Indian Muslim league and Indian congress party, Kashmir has been the source of enimosity between these two countries and could also become the source of friendship.
The mission should be to let the Kashmiri population go free of dominations by their non kashmiri neighbours. I have not seen Kashmir but it was regarded by the Moghuls as a paradise on earth. Perhaps the new millenium would end their sufferings!!

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive