'Obama offered to nudge India to resolve Kashmir issue in exchange for Pak help'

ObamaIn his new book 'Magnificent Delusions, former Pak Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani revealed the contents of a private letter written by US president Barack Obama, addressed to then Pakistani preisent Asif Ali Zardari

US President Barack Obama secretly offered Pakistan in 2009 that he would nudge India towards negotiations on Kashmir in lieu of it ending support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban, but 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 wrote 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 Advisor Gen (rtd) James Jones.

The letter's content is for the first time being disclosed by Haqqani, the then Pakistan's envoy to the US.

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, through the letter Obama offered Pakistan 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.

"Obama wrote that the United States would tell countries of the region that 'the old ways of doing business are no longer acceptable'. He acknowledged that some countries - a reference to India - had used 'unresolved disputes to leave open bilateral wounds for years or decades. They must find ways to come together'," Haqqani writes.

"But in an allusion to Pakistan, he (Obama) said, 'Some countries have turned to proxy groups to do their fighting instead of choosing a path of peace and security. The tolerance or support of such proxies cannot continue'," the former diplomat writes quoting from the letter.

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