In a huge embarrassment for the government, the whistleblower website WikiLeaks has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had accused the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of “shooting down” proposals put forth in 2005 to resolve the ongoing Kashmir issue.
According to Republican congressman Don Burton, who quotes the chief minister in a cable released in 2005, Omar Abdullah said that the Government of India did not have any road map to resolve the J&K issue with Pakistan.
The cable claims Abdullah, then a member of Parliament and National Conference president, said “he discounted the claims that the GOI (Government of India) has a road map for Jammu & Kashmir, commenting that, as the leader of the party dedicated to finding a solution within the Indian constitution, he should be shown such a plan were it to exist”.
Omar allegedly told the American Diplomat that Islamabad has gone farther than New Delhi in changing their stance and that it was for the Indian Prime Minister to start thinking ‘outside the box’.
Don Burton quoted, “According to (Omar) Abdullah, Islamabad has gone farther than Delhi in recent years in changing their stance, and it is now time for the Indian Prime Minister to start thinking ‘outside the box’. He (Abdullah) proffered that each time there is a new proposal, the MEA is the first to ‘shoot it down’, demonstrating that the GOI is quite content with the status quo.”
Burton, vice-chairman of the House International Relations Committee on Asia Pacific, headed a Congressional Delegation in 2005 to the sub-continent and met Abdullah and several separatist leaders.
“A solution will not be found because India and Pakistan want a solution, it will be because the rest of the world will demand it,” Abdullah is quoted in the cable.
Burton noted in the cable that he intended to raise these points in upcoming meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.