“He (Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar) noted that Pakistan would deliberately low-key the United Nations resolutions of the 1940s, as emphasising them would not be helpful,” said a secret cable issued by the US Embassy in Pakistan after the then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering had a one-to-one meeting with Sattar in Islamabad on May 27, 2000.
Running into several pages, the cable – which has been put on the State Department website under Freedom of Information Act – refers to the efforts made by the then Vajpayee Government in resolving the Kashmir issue. In the highly-redacted version of the cable, Pickering is seen telling Sattar during the two-hour long meeting that the onus for reducing the violence in Kashmir is on Pakistan, to which the Foreign Minister agreed. According to the cable, Sattar reacted positively to the idea of involving Kashmiris.
“He (Sattar) was puzzled about including Buddhists and Hindus in Ladakh and Jammu. He said he had personally convinced the government to go along with Hurriyat (APCH) leaders talking to the Indians without a Pakistani presence,” the cable said.
“Sattar said that consulting Kashmirs does not eliminate Pakistan’s interest in the settlement and reacted with interest to the idea that a settlement needed to be developed in a way to bring Pakistan and India closer together through more open trade and economic relations,” the cable said.