Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan to nudge India on Kashmir

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Nov 5, 2013.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    US President Barack Obama secretly offered Pakistan in 2009 that he would nudge India towards negotiations on Kashmir in lieu of it ending support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Taliban, but much to his disappointment Islamabad 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’, which hit the stores today.

    This is Haqqani’s interpretation of the secret letter written by President Obama to the then President Asif Ali Zardari, which was personally hand delivered by his then National Security Advisor Gen (rtd) 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, spread over 300 pages, Haqqani writes that in November 2009, Jones travelled to Islamabad to hand deliver a letter written by Obama to Zardari.

    Dated November 11, 2009, through the letter Obama offered Pakistan to become America’s “long-term strategic” partner. The letter “even hinted at addressing Pakistan’s oft-stated desire for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute,” he writes.

    “Obama wrote that the United States 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.

    “I am committed to working with your government to ensure the security of the Pakistani state and to address threats to your security in a constructive way,” the book says, citing Obama’s letter to Zardari.

    “He (Obama) asked for cooperation in defeating Al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network, the Afghan Taliban and the assorted other militant groups that threaten security. Obama then wrote of his ‘vision for South Asia’, which involved ‘new patterns of cooperation between and among India, Afghanistan and Pakistan to counter those who seek to create permanent tension and conflict on the subcontinent’,” Haqqani wrote.

    Barack Obama's secret offer to Pakistan over Kashmir, claims book |
    Singh likes this.
  3. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2009
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    Re: Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan to nudge India on Kas

    So one thing is for sure... Pakis don't want any "solution to Kashmir" but unconditional support to Terrorism and fight India who is it's FATHER.

    So Pakistan is a Terrorist State and a danger to world peace. This terrorist nation should be dismantled.

    Hence Proved(yet again).
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Re: Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan to nudge India on Kas

    Husain Haqqani was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani military garrison town of Abbottabad, an incident that sent US-Pakistan ties into a tailspin.

    In his new book, titled Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, The United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, Haqqani has sought to analyse US–Pakistan relations since the late 1940s and presents the thesis that far from being strategic allies, the two are nominal allies. He has also called for a radical overhaul of the thinking in Pakistan about its ties with India and the US. Edited excerpts from an interview:

    Why this book now?

    The reason why this book is important at this time is that both the United States and Pakistan are looking at their relationship and wondering what to make of it as time goes by. After the United States withdraws from Afghanistan or reduces its presence significantly we are likely to see another cycle of disenchantment in Pakistan. I say in my book that the two countries have had cycles of intense engagement and then of disenchantment. I think we are about to go into a huge cycle of disenchantment—whereas the truth is both the United States and Pakistan have never shared interests completely. Pakistan’s elite and its establishment have always had an India-centric outlook on the world.

    The other reason for writing this book at this point is that I am really concerned as a Pakistani about the future direction of Pakistan. I want us Pakistanis to have a real debate about its national interests. Is it to take arms from America and continue to fight with India or is to pay attention to the prosperity of its people and get away from the label that it is a state on the verge of failure? The traditional US-Pakistan narrative, as told to Pakistanis, is that Pakistan is a very good ally of the US; the Pakistanis helped the Americans drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan and bring down the Soviet Union; the Americans were fair-weather friends and now the Americans only keep putting pressure on us to do things that are difficult for us to do.

    This book shows who went wrong where and when. The real problem is that instead of finding peace with its neighbours, Pakistan came up with the stratagem of aligning with a distant superpower in the hopes of enhancing its strategic weight in a region where it is entitled to strategic weight but not disproportionately.

    You spoke about the need for a new narrative for Pakistan. But doesn’t South Asia as a whole need a new narrative? There is Bangladesh emerging as an economic hub, Myanmar opening up to the world, India is going to have general polls next year, there is the 2014 change in Afghanistan.

    One of the problems in the subcontinent has been that leaders have opted for convenient narratives instead of difficult choices and there has always been an over simplified version of history, some would argue a fabricated and contrived version of history. I think the entire region needs to recognize that it has tremendous potential but that the rest of the world has recognized its potential more than we have.

    This is one of the few regions in the world where there is a lot less inter-regional trade than there is trade with others. No region has acquired prosperity without trading amongst themselves. And so every component of the South Asian region needs to revisit its national narrative.

    I think now it’s time to move beyond the grievances of partition and to deal with the reality of the world we find ourselves in. We really need to embrace the 21st century without necessarily giving up our culture. The 21st century is about economic prosperity and growth. If we keep a perennial culture of grievance going, based on perceived historic injustices, then we will never be able to address the issues of tomorrow.

    What is your assessment of where the peace process between India and Pakistan is going?

    I am one of those who supports all peace processes but I am also a realist. Sometimes you can have engagement and dialogue without illusions and expectations of immediate results. The US and USSR (former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) had dialogue for a long time without immediate results. So that may be the model for India and Pakistan right now.

    But there are many things we need to worry about.

    Any escalation in the activities of jehadis will definitely be adverse for India-Pakistan relations. Any attempt in India to revive the concept that somehow Pakistan is not necessarily a legitimate state will also have a negative effect.

    I think we need to tone down the rhetoric on both sides of the border. But at the same time I think the responsibility of advancing the peace process lies with those whose actions have disrupted peace in the last several decades. In the last two decades, the onus lies with supporters of jehad in this region.

    What do you think is the solution to the Kashmir dispute?

    Perhaps in the subcontinent we don’t follow other successful models, we have created our own unsuccessful model. So, for example, Pakistan’s insistence that the problem of Kashmir needs to be resolved first before we can have any forward movement is not a successful model anywhere in the world. Similarly, the insistence by some Indians that there should be no discussion on Kashmir at all is also not a successful model. Many nations have been able to deal with outstanding problems by setting them aside in terms of a solution, recognizing them as a problem but saying let us work with the things that we are able to resolve rather than squandering all our energy on the problems we cant resolve right now. Why must we bang our heads against each other—one says this is not an issue at all and the other says this is the only issue, go past that and find creative solutions. In my book, I discuss how efforts have been made in that direction but how it has always ended up with someone insisting that there is only one way out... peace will come when there is an acceptance that there is no alternative to peace, when both sides respect each other, understand each other and then the negotiations are based on reality not deliberate distortions or unintentional delusions, it has to be a reality-based dialogue.

    Very frankly, I think the stability of our region and the potential for peace between our two countries depends on realism from both sides...if the circumstances are right and the foundations of the agreement that they reach, is real and neither side intends to violate it. We saw that in 1999, Mr (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s bus yatra (in February 1999) and the peace process that started with it was disrupted by Kargil (war in May-July 1999). When President Asif Ali Zardari (2008-2013) took the huge initiative after being elected president of talking about all subjects including Pakistan’s nuclear posture with the Indians, we saw that (2008) Mumbai (terror attacks) happened. And that totally derailed any potential for negotiations. So any such thing can happen from state actors and non-state actors.

    What does it mean when one says non-state actors?

    The term non-state actor is a legitimate term in international relations and these are people who do not take their order from a state. The problem is that even in this phrase, the word state comes right in the middle, which means non-state actors derive their strength either from the state’s acquiescence or its support or its tolerance. And in the end the onus of dealing with them still lies with the state.

    So has terrorism run its course in the India-Pakistan narrative?

    I personally think that though terrorism has been around in many shapes and forms in history, it has never been effective in bringing about any positive results. And when terrorism has been adopted as a state policy of action or state policy of inaction, both have the same consequence—that is they create conflict, they do not pave the way for negotiations or peace processes.

    Terrorism can only disrupt people’s lives and if it is against a stronger state, it will only result in unnecessary loss of life. Anybody who thinks that by flying a couple of planes into America, they will bring down America, they are sadly mistaken. And anybody who thinks that by killing innocent people in Mumbai they can bring about change in the subcontinent they are mistaken. It is time for the terrorist business to be totally shut down. Its stock value is zero.

    In your book, you express the apprehension that Pakistan could implode if it continues on the path it is going.

    The word implosion can have many consequences. Several thousand people getting killed in the past few years to me is kind of implosion. The fact that in some parts of Pakistan young girls like Malala Yousafzai are shot at for resisting not be allowed to go to school is an implosion of sorts. Religious groups (Christians and Shias) being targeted for praying in their church, then that is a type of implosion. Pakistan needs to redefine its national goals. Instead of our national goals being military parity with India or resolution of the Kashmir dispute or having recognition as a nuclear weapons power, our goals should be the prosperity of our people and regaining the respect of the international community. There are 193 member-states of the United Nations. Pakistanis cannot travel to any but 34 without prior screening and visas. That’s basically a vote of no-confidence from the rest of the world. Instead of implosion, we need to speak about dysfunction. We need to work to see our dysfunction ends.

    But Pakistan has for the first time in its history seen the successful handover of power from one civilian government to the other. Isn’t this an achievement? And is the era of military coups over?

    Democracy is strengthening its roots in Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Nawaz Sharif both deserve credit for creating circumstances in which Pakistan had a full democratic transition. That is all good news. At the same time Pakistan’s national narrative is still controlled by the permanent establishment which includes the military and the intelligence services. And I think if the civilian government can start the process of changing the national narrative more quickly that will be better for Pakistan.

    We have already overcome one hurdle which was having direct military intervention in politics and not let a civilian government complete its term. That hurdle has been overcome. Now we need to reach a point where the military does its job which is to be ready to guard against a war like situation. And the civilians allow open debate and let the people choose between contending visions. If not, you will only have partial democracy. I think Pakistan needs to get there (full democracy); it is not there yet.

    Is there a critical mass of people in Pakistan to change perceptions?

    The critical mass (for change at present) in Pakistan is for components of the liberal narrative—not for the whole narrative—and I think it will only come together if some of us who are on the outside to save our lives, use the opportunity to actually help lay the foundations of the new narrative. In Pakistan, the cult of the warrior is instilled in children at a very young age. How can you respect the scholar or the politician if you are taught that the warrior is an integral part of Islamic history?
    If people are not told the value of economics, if people are told we are a great nation because we are a nuclear power, then they will not understand that they can have nuclear weapons like North Korea does but you may not have the stature that South Korea has without nuclear weapons.

    Unless people don’t have the ideas available to them, they cannot make choices. I think the critical mass is gathering and it will come about. It may not come about in two years or five but the elements are already there. There are people who don’t want Pakistan to be a jihadist-controlled or Jihadist-infested or Jihadist-influenced extremist state.

    Is Pakistan likely to see a movement like the Arab Spring?

    Situations like the Arab Spring are never forseeable. I think that in case of the likelihood that various elite groups in Pakistan will start recognizing that model that Pakistan of using Islam as the national galvanizer and India being portrayed as the enemy and depending on Uncle Sam for economic largesse, that paradigm has now been proved wrong. So we are looking for a new foundation. It (change) has to happen, it is inevitable.

    What is your assessment of the situation in the region vis-a-vis Afghanistan post -2014? What do you think of India’s role in Afghanistan?

    First thing, I don’t think it is wise for India to get militarily involved in Afghanistan, which it is not doing. Secondly, it is for the Afghans to decide who they do business with. I think it is an erroneous concept in Pakistan that Pakistan must have a say in who governs Afghanistan. The best way to have a friendly government in Kabul is to befriend the government in Kabul. We need to work with whoever there is.

    In my book I explain that the popular view that America wanted to fight the Soviet Union and used Pakistan is actually incorrect. Pakistan had a plan and invited the Americans to make Afghanistan the Soviet Vietnam. The Americans bought into that offer. Now this has gone on for decades and disrupted Pakistan. It is in Pakistan’s interest to work on an understanding with all of Afghanistan’s neighbours and say let us all not interfere. Afghanistan needs access to India’s markets to grow.

    Responsibility to advance peace process lies with those who disrupted it: Husain Haqqani - Livemint
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  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

    Aug 25, 2010
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    Re: Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan to nudge India on Kas

    Im certain obama would have obliged.

    But then again he has no power to do anything in this matter except make "noise".
  6. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

    May 6, 2013
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    Re: Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan to nudge India on Kas

    Pakistan It's like the whore that gave its client the Americans a std. The client wants to return to the whore and tries to change its ways. But the whore enjoys screwing others and gives the std again (Afghanistan part 2) to the client that had nearly cured itself of the earlier std (Afghanistan part 1). It is also true the whore knows certain intricate parts of the client that it has not shared with others.

    I believe there will be a huge revisit of the American collaboration of the terrorists in Afghanistan during soviet occupation. The theme will be that it was predominant Pakistani led plan against the soviets that found a financial backer in the Americans that did not read envision the consequences because Pakistan had promised it would only be a regional phenomenon.

    Once the promise was broken things change.
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