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Cablegate: Pakistan: Uk Sees Kashmir Solution As Key To

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RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0796
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0073
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0058
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 0023
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 001887

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2018
TAGS: PREL PTER PBTS PINS IN PK UK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN: UK SEES KASHMIR SOLUTION AS KEY TO
LONG-TERM SECURITY COOPERATION

Classified By: Political Counselor Richard Mills, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1. (S) Summary. The UK sees resolving Kashmir as central to changing the dynamic in Pakistan's long-term security cooperation with the West, according to FCO contacts. Improving relations between Pakistan and India through a solution to Kashmir will allow the Pakistani Army to reduce its focus on India and enable it to concentrate, strategically and operationally, on other domestic security concerns, like the situation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Stabilizing Kashmir is also important for UK domestic security reasons. With the continued presence of militant training camps in Kashmir and over half a million UK passport-holders with ties to the region, HMG is concerned that UK nationals will be recruited to conduct terrorist activities in the UK. Although its historical baggage makes the UK hesitant about direct involvement in trying to resolve Kashmir, it does not want attention to the long-festering issue to be eclipsed by a focus on security in the FATA and development of the UK and U.S.'s bilateral relationships with Pakistan and India. End summary.

A Solution to Kashmir: Building Confidence Between Pakistan and India --------------------------------------------- -

2. (C) The UK sees resolving Kashmir as central to changing the dynamic in Pakistan's long-term security cooperation with the West and improving security in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), according to FCO Pakistan Team Leader Laura Hickey. With the Pakistani Army's internal structure, capabilities, and identity all focused on India, the military remains resistant to developing the counter-insurgency (COIN) capability necessary to improve stability along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which is generally perceived to be a Western priority. Hickey argued that a solution in Kashmir would allow the Pakistan Army, in the long-term, to reduce its focus on India and concentrate on other domestic security concerns.

3. (S) With a growing body of reporting suggesting to HMG that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) was possibly involved in the July 7 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul - though likely without the knowledge of the civil elements of the GOP -- Hickey thought there was growing need for confidence building measures to improve relations. She suggested making bus transfers easier between Pakistan and India in Kashmir and improving trade relations as good starting points. An overall solution to Kashmir, however, was the order of magnitude required to improve Indo-Pak relations to a point where the Pakistani Army would be able to re-evaluation its mission and focus.

The Kashmir Escalation Effect -----------------------------

4. (S) Hickey said HMG is also interested in stabilizing Kashmir for UK domestic security reasons. Discussing what HMG internally terms the "Kashmir Escalation Effect," Hickey said that while it appears the Government of Pakistan has ceased to run militant training camps in Kashmir, the camps continue to operate. Terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda, have begun using these camps as recruitment centers. After additional training in the FATA or other areas, recruitees are then poised to commit terrorist activities. In addition to the general insecurity this causes in the FATA and Afghanistan, HMG is concerned that UK passport-holders will be recruited to commit terrorist operations in the UK.

5. (C) Over half a million UK passport-holders originate from Kashmir. In spite of strong family and economic ties, anti-UK sentiments run high in Kashmir. Hickey said there is a growing trend of UK-based parents who send their "problem children" to madarases in Kashmir, and these students are at high risk of radicalization. Kashmir is one of the main target locations for the Foreign Office's "Prevent" counter-terrorism campaign. As part of the "Promoting British Islam" program, prominent Muslim Britons of Pakistani descent travel to Kashmir on goodwill trips to explain life as a Muslim in the UK.

Comment LONDON 00001887 002 OF 002 -------

6. (C) For historical reasons, HMG is hesitant to get directly involved in trying to resolve the Kashmir issue, as Indians and Pakistanis universally consider the UK's colonial policies as the origin of the conflict. That said, HMG is keen to engage and does not want resolving Kashmir to be eclipsed as a priority by security in the FATA and development of the UK and U.S.'s bilateral relationships with Pakistan and India. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX TUTTLE

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