Former PM Manmohan Singh and Pakistani ruler General Pervez Musharraf had a one-on-one secret meeting in which they came near to resolving the J&K problem. A draft framework pact on Jammu and Kashmir was prepared during the meeting.
Files of unsigned paperwork exchanged between the two sides had been handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Singh at a May 27, 2014 meeting, said the diplomat.
Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri is in New Delhi to launch the Indian version of his e-book, ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove’, an insider account of India-Pakistan secret diplomacy on Kashmir, he added.
Singh’s hand-picked envoy, Ambassador Satinder Lambah, and General Musharraf’s interlocutors, Riaz Muhammad Khan and Tariq Aziz, held 200 hours of discussions during 30 meetings held in Dubai and Kathmandu on the draft agreement, said a senior Indian diplomat.
Also, Singh’s interlocutor, NN Vohra, was tasked with briefing secessionist leaders in the state on the impending deal.
As per the draft, a “consultative mechanism” will be prepared once the J&K and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir representatives talk to each other as well as officials of India and Pakistan governments.
Lambah was flown to Rawalpindi on a RAW jet. Travelling with no passport or visa was made necessary to keep the conferences a secret, said a former intelligence officer.
“Each paper exchanged between the two sides was read by Singh personally, and his instructions were then given to Lambah,” the diplomat told an English daily.
The agreement conceives joint management of J&K by India and Pakistan, and demilitarisation of the territory. “Social and economic issues” such as tourism, religious pilgrimages, culture and trade will be addressed, he said.
Lambah declined to be interviewed, but said the language of speech he delivered at Kashmir University in 2014 “was close to that used within the remaining draft”.
Notes exchanged by the negotiators, as seen by Indian Express, agreed on self-governance for both sides of J&K, a proposal first moved by the PDP, which rules the state in alliance with BJP.