India Intelligence Report

Musharraf Indian Response to his Proposals


Indian politicians who visited Pakistan and had intense discussions with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf urged India to respond to his 4-step proposal. Musharraf has proposed a 4-step proposal of demilitarization in 3 stages, self-rule, joint-management, and making the border irrelevant.

PDP leader Ifthikhar Ansari said that domestic civil war situations in Baloachistan and Waziristan maybe requiring him to seek some release on the Eastern border to focus on regaining his “strategic depth.”

Bhim Singh of Panthers Party, another person implicated in the Volker Report but has escaped scrutiny because of the negative attention that Foreign Minister Natwar Singh was getting, said that he got an affirmation from Musharraf about getting autonomy for Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Northern Areas (NA).

National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and Communist Yusuf Tarigami sounded most impressed by Musharraf and wanted India to react soon before the General took “steps backward” as he had threatened. These two leaders support Musharraf’s anti-terrorism steps to control terror. They point out attempts on his life, reduction in infiltration levels, and removal of the word “freedom-fighters” while referring to Kashmiri terrorists, and imprisonment of the United Jihad Council as examples of his good intentions.


The National Security Advisor and several army reports have frequently stated that while infiltration has dropped, the “mix” of terrorism has changed. Just as Pakistan outsourced its terrorism to the Taliban in Pakistan, it is now setting up offshore units in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Thailand to train elements recruited in India to attack soft targets in mainland India and whip up communal antagonism.

Musharraf’s plan itself is ridiculously naive. Without a control of terrorist elements and a concerted effort to shutdown terror camps, how can there be any demilitarization?

While India has a functioning democracy in Jammu & Kashmir, there is no such “self-rule” in PoK or NA. Pakistan has not even implemented the order of PoK’s High Court demanding it to hand over administrative control to PoK. With such imbalances in fundamental freedom, how will the question of self-rule even apply? When Pakistan will not work with Indian forces even during the earthquake crisis to provide relief for civilians, where is the question of joint-management? Without the relevance of the other three points, the question of making the border irrelevant does not even arise.

India’s demand has consistently been to reducing terror levels from Pakistan, closure of terror camps in that country, achieving democratic parity in PoK and NA, and opening up the border in a controlled fashion to make the borders irrelevant. Responding to Musharraf’s proposal will essentially drag India into a conversation that will be controlled by Pakistan.

Musharraf has a habit of saying one thing and doing quite the opposite. The Washington Post had recently asked US President George Bush not to trust Musharraf; this is sound advice that India should carefully consider.

India cannot value its interests at the same level as individual political greed and desire for power. It needs Pakistan to stick to the roadmap of confidence building measures to develop trust before trying “out of box solutions” or bring about major “policy changes.” The General may be in hurry for domestic military reasons or international compulsions; India simply cannot go down with him.