'US Has Drawn Unwritten Roadmap On Kashmir'
1 August 2003
The Asian Age
Islamabad: A three-phased unwritten road map on Kashmir supported by the European Union, the United Kingdom and other nations has been drawn up by the US to settle the contentious issue, former Pakistani foreign secretary Niaz Naik has said. 'Several options are being considered by US and other nations for resolution of the Kashmir issue and it is reported that the proposal put forward by Kashmir Study Group based in New York is being considered seriously by the White House,' Mr Naik told the Pakistan Observer in an interview. He also said that there are some reports pouring in from Washington that the United States has planned to help settle the issue next year. Through overt and covert channels, he said the US has given a clear message to India to re-start dialogue on Kashmir, otherwise its hopes of becoming permanent member of Security Council will be jeopardised. He claimed that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's latest peace initiative was due to 'international pressure.' Mr Naik also said there was growing realisation among the Saarc members, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka that tension between India and Pakistan has 'hurt' South Asia badly. On how the Americans will react if options to resolve the Kashmir issue are exhausted, he said, 'The Americans can go for independent Kashmir as the US will like to encircle China as it is emerging an economic giant which can threaten US interests.'