US was keen on preserving Indo-Pak truce: Wikileaks
New Delhi: Terming the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir as an important achievement, classified US documents released by Wikileaks revealed that Washington was keen on `preserving` the truce by denouncing the violations carried out by Pakistani troops.
In a 2005 cable to US State Department under the heading `preserving the LoC ceasefire`, then Ambassador to India David C Mulford urged the Bush Administration to issue a statement to support the truce announced by New Delhi and Islamabad on November 24, 2003.
"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," Mulford said in the cable sent in January 2005.
The cable is one of the 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 rapproachement 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 the response of New Delhi and Islamabad in the aftermath of the two ceasefire violations in three days in January 2005 terming it as "measured" and "serious".
"Despite shelling of the Indian side of the LoC twice in three days (January 18 and 20), both governments have responded in a measured and serious manner, conscious that the 14 months of silence along the LOC has come to symbolise the de-escalation of the Indo-Pak conflict, while providing tens of thousands of Kashmiris the longest respite from daily shelling since the 1999 Kargil War," he added.
Mulford had expressed apprehensions that the ceasefire violation could have negative effect on the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan.
"The ceasefire… has fuelled hopes for broader progress in military CBMs. These instances of shelling, if they do not stop, could spill over into the Composite Dialogue and negatively affect the broad sense of goodwill that exists in India for fixing relations with Pakistan," he said.