The Kashmir deal – II

Few days back, the Time Magazine broke the story that India was willing to move the border of Jammu and Kashmir few miles to the east as a solution to the Kashmir Problem. This was immediately denied by India. But now Asia Times has more information on the deal.

First Musharraf, say Western diplomatic sources, assured US Secretary of State Colin Powell that Pakistan was agreeable to a territorial adjustment along the LoC, to which India apparently agreed during earlier discussions with Powell before he left for Islamabad from New Delhi on a recent visit to the subcontinent.

A similar statement by Manmohan, though denied by the Indian High Commission, provides credence to the claim that a blueprint for a modified LoC as an anchor to a settlement in Kashmir already exists.

A just-retired general of the Indian army, who preferred not to be quoted by name, told Asia Times Online that a settlement blueprint that has been agreed in principle by both sides exists and is being kept under wraps to be disclosed at a juncture politically suitable for both countries.

The general added that adjustment of a few kilometers on either side of LoC is unlikely to alter the strategic advantage of either India or Pakistan. He claimed that political leaders at a very senior level in the previous administration and the present United Progressive Alliance government have been briefed on this. [On Kashmir, hot air and trial balloons]

I hope the anonymous source who gave information to Time Magazine is not the same one who is telling all this to Asia Times. India’s National Security Advisor and his Pakistani counterpart have been meeting in various countries having secret discussions and anything the elected leader of India and the dictator of Pakistan will discuss in New York would have been agreed upon previously. This seems to look more than a trial balloon now.