WikiLeaks: US encouraged India, Pakistan to preserve ceasefire

 

After termination of the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir as an important achievement, classified United States documents released by Wikileaks disclosed that Washington was keen on ‘preserving’ the truce.

In a 2005 cable to US State Department under the heading ‘preserving the LoC ceasefire’, then Ambassador to India David C Mulford urged Bush Administration to issue a statement to support the truce announced by New Delhi and Islamabad on November 24, 2003.

Mulford said in the cable sent in January 2005, “We urge the Department to issue a firm statement supporting the ceasefire; reiterating our unequivocal opposition to cross-border terrorist infiltration,  condemning the recent shelling and reaffirming our support for the Composite Dialogue process.”

The document is one of 138,887 released by Wikileaks on August 30. “The LoC ceasefire is one of the most important achievements in the slow but steady Indo-Pak rapproachment process that began in mid-2003 with former PM Vajpayee’s ‘Hand of Friendship’ speech, but without US engagement that accomplishment could soon founder,” Mulford reported.

He appreciated response of New Delhi and Islamabad in the aftermath of two ceasefire violations in three days in January 2005 terming it as “measured” and “serious”.

“Despite shelling of Indian side of LoC twice in three days, both the governments have responded in a measured and serious manner, conscious that 14 months of silence along the LOC has come to symbolize de-escalation of Indo- Pak conflict, while providing tens of thousands of Kashmiris the longest respite from daily shelling since the 1999 Kargil War,” he added.

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