In 2009, US President Barack Obama made a secret offer to Pakistan: He would nudge India towards negotiations on Kashmir if Pakistan ended support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and the Taliban. Much to his disappointment, Islamabad rejected the offer."Since the 1950s Pakistan had wanted an American role in South Asia. Now it was being offered one. In the end Pakistan would have to negotiate the Kashmir issue directly with India. But at least now the American President was saying that he would nudge the Indians toward those negotiations," Pakistan's former Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani writes in his book Magnificent Delusions, which hit the stores on Tuesday.This is Haqqani's interpretation of the secret letter written by President Obama to the then President Asif Ali Zardari, which was personally hand-delivered by his then National Security Adviser Gen (retd) James Jones.The letter's content is being disclosed by Haqqani, who was then Pakistan's envoy to the US, for the first time.In his book, spread over 300 pages, Haqqani writes that in November 2009, Jones travelled to Islamabad to hand-deliver a letter written by Obama to Zardari.Dated November 11, 2009, the letter saw Obama offer Pakistan the chance to become America's long-term strategic partner."The letter even hinted at addressing Pakistan's oft-stated desire for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute," he writes.Haqqani, who now teaches at the University of Boston, said that in a meeting with him, Jones stressed that he had wanted to reassure Pakistanis that any perception that the US was leaving the region was simply wrong.He further writes that the Obama administration had asked for 'fundamental readjustment' before the two countries could be 'partners for a long time to come,' but Islamabad was not ready for them.When Zardari's reply arrived, it had clearly been drafted by a committee of foreign and ISI bureaucrats, repeating old cliches about Afghanistan threat to Pakistan from India, according to the book.
Empowering Book Newsletter
WOMEN’S POWER: ITS PAST, ITS PRESENT, ITS FUTURE: FEMOCRACY