Unwelcome interventions

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by anoop_mig25, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2009
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    Inder Malhotra]Unwelcome interventions - Indian Express indian express oped, Unwelcome interventions[/B]Posted: Mon Jan 09 2012, 00:43 hrs

    In two earlier articles in this series (‘Dialogue of the deaf’, IE, January 22, 2010) and ‘Immoveable objects”, IE, February 5, 2010), I have given as many dreary details as possible of the failed Swaran Singh-Bhutto “talkathon” that began in Rawalpindi on December 26, 1962 and collapsed in New Delhi on May 16, 1963. There is no need to repeat them here, except to underscore that but for the unflappable Sardar, the talks would have broken down even before they had begun. This was so because of the effrontery of Pakistan and China. These two countries announced, just after the arrival of the Indian delegation on Pakistani soil, that they had reached a boundary agreement “in principle”, and it would be signed soon.However, it is necessary to describe here what has not even yet been mentioned: Even while the two neighbours were talking to each other, Britain and the United States went on ratcheting up their pressure on this country to “make concessions to Pakistan” over Kashmir. To begin with, the US ambassador, John Kenneth Galbraith, and the British high commissioner, Sir Paul Gore-Booth, only wanted that they be kept in “close touch” with how the talks were going so that they could “help” when necessary. But when absolutely nothing could be achieved at the first two rounds at Rawalpindi and New Delhi, the two Western powers became both alarmed and overactive.

    The third round of the talks was due to begin in Karachi on February 8, 1963. Nearly a week earlier, Philip Talbot, then US assistant secretary of state, suddenly arrived in Delhi, and Galbraith took him on a round of South Block, from the prime minister downwards. Walter McConaughy, the American ambassador to Pakistan, was with Talbot. They stated at length that the US Congress was being “difficult” about aid to India and only an agreement between India and Pakistan could ease the situation. They understood that Pakistan’s demand for a “plebiscite in Kashmir within a year” was unacceptable, but without larger concessions by India no settlement was possible. To this McConaughy added that it was in India’s interest to “strengthen” Ayub’s hands because “any other Pakistani leader would be more difficult”. The Western line of thinking and action was thus clear.
    Anyone who has closely analysed the six rounds of India-Pakistan talks knows that logically these should have ended at Karachi. For it was there that India offered to change the cease fire line in Pakistan’s favour, giving it an additional 1,500 square miles in the Valley. But, riding a high horse, Bhutto would have nothing of this. He was prepared to give India the small, southern district of Kathua and demanded the rest of the Valley. This had driven Commonwealth Secretary Y.D. Gundevia to tell him that the Indian delegation wouldn’t go home taking with it only a “kachhua” (tortoise). Even so, since Pakistan seemed anxious to prolong the negotiations, three more sterile rounds were held. The next one in Calcutta (now Kolkata) was scheduled for March 12.
    A fortnight before that date it was announced that Bhutto would visit Beijing before arriving in Calcutta. The Americans grew anxious. Their worry was that, faced with the second “provocation”, India might “write off” the Calcutta talks. Galbraith found it necessary to “warn” Indian officials that American reaction to the cancellation of the talks would be “very strong”. Reportedly, the US remonstrated with Pakistan also about the Bhutto visit to Beijing to which the latter’s response was: “You give arms to India, we make friends with China”.
    After the failure of the Calcutta round, the two sides were to meet in Karachi five weeks later. The US and Britain used this interval to try and persuade India to give Pakistan a larger part of the Kashmir valley, arguing that the Pakistanis “would not be content until they had some say in the Chenab basin”. Gundevia explained to them rather impatiently that the Indian side had explained to all Western interlocutors, including US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, that this was not possible, and why it was not possible.
    Two days before the Indian delegation was to leave for Karachi, the Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, G. Parathasarathi, came to Delhi for consultations and startled all concerned by showing them a paper entitled ‘KASHMIR: Elements of a Settlement’. He reported that the American embassy in Pakistan had given him this document, and had told him that it was a “joint Anglo-American demarche” that had been officially presented to Bhutto.
    GP, as he was generally called, was himself stunned when told that no one had handed this paper to New Delhi. The core of the paper was: “Neither India nor Pakistan can entirely give up its claims on the Valley. Each must have a substantial position in the Vale”. And then the US-British paper had proceeded to give Pakistan almost everything it wanted. The control of the Chenab headwork was a “must”. (Incidentally, this is something Pakistan harped on also during the back-channel talks between the nominees of then prime ministers of India and Pakistan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif respectively, in the late 1990s.)

    After Nehru and his advisers had discussed the ‘Elements’, the prime minister asked Swaran Singh whether he still wanted to go Karachi. After a brief discussion it was decided that the Karachi talks should go on, but before that, letters should be sent to Kennedy and Macmillan tersely rejecting the Anglo-American suggestions. The letters were dispatched almost immediately after the anger in the initial draft was “softened somewhat”. The letters made no difference at all to the busybodies from the two major powers.
    As is well known, all through 1961 and until shortly before the Chinese invasion in 1962, JFK had been advocating “informal, friendly mediation” over Kashmir and had indeed offered the services of Eugene Black, president of the World Bank (who had earlier helped India and Pakistan negotiate the Indus Water Treaty) for this purpose. Nehru had courteously and categorically declined the offer.
    There was much surprise in South Block, therefore, when in reply to Nehru’s letter on the Anglo-American ‘Elements’, Kennedy revived the mediation idea. It was to be the American and British theme song for quite a while.
    The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Chenab plays a makjor role in Pakistan's Kashmir Soution

    Chenab Formula

    Pakistan has directly or indirectly emphasised the Chenab Formula as the most preferred option. It is based on the 'Dixon Plan', proposed in 1950 by Sir Owen Dixon, who came as a United Nation's representative for India and Pakistan; assigned Ladakh to India, the Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir to Pakistan, split Jammu between the two and envisaged a plebiscite in the Kashmir valley. The proposal, though accepted by Pakistan, was rejected by India.

    As per this formula, the city of Jammu and some districts of Jammu province would go to India, while the city of
    Srinagar and most parts of the Kashmir valley as well as parts of Jammu region would be transferred to Pakistan.

    This division would be based on the flow of the Chenab, but it would to some extent coincide with religious demography.

    Why is then Pakistan interested in the Chenab formula that includes parts of Jammu? With a small twist to this proposal, consider the hypothetical situation, as suggested by many experts, of only Kashmir being a part of Pakistan, and entire Jammu province and Ladakh under India. One evident outcome of such an arrangement would be the dissolving of the Indus Waters Treaty, as the political status of Kashmir would change. The distribution of water resources would be altered. Pakistan would then have complete control over only the Indus, Jhelum, and some of their tributaries. The Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers would fall under India's jurisdiction.

    This arrangement would be detrimental to Pakistan, as it would lose a major water source the Chenab. This implies a 30 billion cubic metre or 17 per cent reduction in water flows in the Indus System in Pakistan, provided, of course, that India
    is able to block the Chenab completely. The incumbent major water resources for Pakistan Indus and Jhelum have
    already been exploited to the maximum in Pakistani Punjab itself where over half their water flows is diverted for
    irrigation. The Chenab also is a major source of water to Punjab. Moreover, the Chenab-Jhelum combine is the only
    tributary of the Indus that enhances the latter's flow downstream Punjab. Losing Chenab to India would mean drastic
    reduction in water supplies to Sindh, which is already on the brink of a water crisis. It is imperative to note here that the location where the eastern tributaries merge to join the Indus River is at a point just prior to entering Sindh. Moreover, Sindh receives water only from the Indus River. Losing Chenab would also warrant a major rearrangement of the irrigation network in Punjab.

    This clearly explains Pakistan's insistence on making Chenab the basis of the international border and including parts of Jammu and not merely the Kashmir valley, under its jurisdiction.

    Furthermore, accepting the Chenab Formula implies that India would have to part with approximately 32,000 sq km of area, which includes the districts of Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Doda, Kupwara, Pulwama, Poonch, Rajouri,
    Srinagar, and the Gool Gulabgarh and Reasi tehsils of Udhampur that is giving away 57 per cent of the total land area of Jammu & Kashmir, excluding Ladakh and the area under China and Pakistan.

    The Chenab Formula appears to be Pakistan's desired solution to the Kashmir issue. Acquiring the territory of Kashmir,
    including parts of Jammu, can provide Pakistan with the opportunity to tap rivers in the present Indian Kashmir. Storage
    facilities that it is unable to develop within its own territory can then be constructed in Kashmir.

    An interesting aspect of Pakistan's claim over these districts is that the catchment areas of all the rivers important to
    Pakistan Indus, Jhelum and Chenab would come under Pakistan's jurisdiction.

    The physical control over the Chenab valley is being sought, as it would help Pakistan build dams upstream and regulate the river flows to Punjab and Sindh, as discussed earlier in the Chapter Crises in Provinces. Moreover, it provides strategic depth for the Mangla Dam and the Pothohar region. While Mangla is an exclusive dam for Punjab, Pothohar provides the Pakistani army with more than half of its recruits. However, this proposition is a zero-sum game from the perspective of Indian security.

    Foremost, India would have to part with the strategically vital Akhnoor area in Jammu, which is the only all-weather
    route available to India. To the south of Akhnoor lies the 'Chicken's Neck' a narrow strip of Pakistani territory. It is
    interesting to note that during the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, Pakistan had launched attacks to capture Akhnoor and the strategic bridge across the Chenab, which clearly highlights Akhnoor's significance.

    The Akhnoor Bridge is currently India's sole link to Poonch valley. Besides, the area around Akhnoor is of primary
    strategic importance as it provides the best terrain for inter-border movement and is most conducive for large-scale

    Worse, Ladakh's accessibility will be compromised, with India turning dependent on Pakistan to access supply routes to Ladakh. Thus, based purely on military considerations, India cannot accept Chenab as the basis of the new international border. Moreover, losing Chenab would not bode well for parts of Jammu the districts of Jammu, Kathua, Kargil and parts of Udhampur that would remain with India.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
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  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    The Chenab formula is basically a geographical cover of what would have been a communal division of the state of J&K. In essence handing over the valley to Pakistan, while keeping Jammu and Ladakh with India.

    The little known fact is that the Vajpayee led NDA govt. had almost agreed to this informally but backtracked only after backlash from NC and other pro-India Kashmiri groups as well as backlash from other sections of the establishment. Some Kashmiris actually believe that it was conspiracy by the NDA govt. to get rid of the only Muslim majority state in India this way. And what is foolhardy is that this was tried with Nawaz Sharief as well as according to reports under Musharraf as well. Although to be fair to Vajpayee he was under tremendous pressure to settle Kashmir after the nuke explosions from the US and G-8 countries.

    Thankfully, Vajpayee didn't sign the Agra summit declaration which would have used Chenab formula as a basis of the new border. The more recent Musharraf Singh formula is much better as the LoC will become IB in this accord but there is still room for improvement in some aspects as the removal of the need for joint overseeing body and councils and reducing it to maybe a contact group under SAARC.

    Here are some older reports from NDA era on this.

    Another masterful article by AG Noorani on backchannel diplomacy pre-2002 era and you will actually appreciate IK Gujral stance on Kashmir after reading this article
    The truth about the Lahore Summit

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