Pakistan has assured the United States that it will not insist on United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and choke cross-border infiltration by shutting down militant camps, The Nation reported on Monday.
Quoting an unnamed senior Pakistani official, the Pakistani newspaper said that 'both goodwill gifts' were delivered through US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to the Indian leadership during his recent visit to the two countries.
The report said Pakistan and India were inching towards reaching an understanding to 'freeze' the Kashmir issue, scale down military tensions and focus more on improving trade, transport and diplomatic ties.
Islamabad's approach has the tacit approval of China, the paper said.
The paper quoted a senior leader of the ruling pro-military Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam as saying that by conceding so much ground to India at the first stage, Islamabad actually retreated to its February 1999 position when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharief signed the Lahore accord.
"The diplomatic disaster for Pakistan is that India has lost nothing in the process but Pakistan's stand on jihad in Kashmir has weakened following the 9/11 terror attacks and it also lost goodwill among the Indian masses and the government created by the Lahore accord," he said.
The PML-Q leader claimed that India held talks with Pakistan in 1999 without insisting on an end to cross-border infiltration and even Vajpayee agreed for a second summit with Sharief after the Kargil crisis. "But the military coup of October 1999 derailed the peace process. Those would have been serious negotiations from positions of equality. But now Pakistan's position has weakened vis-a-vis India," he said.
"It will be a great political and diplomatic achievement for Pakistani government if India could go back to pre-Kargil position," he added.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's 'bench-pressing' diplomacy brought in the turnaround in Pakistan's policy, according to the paper.
In return to these key concessions, Armitage, during his visit to New Delhi, tried to convince India to normalise the tense border situation, initiate dialogue with Pakistan, and co-opt Kashmiris as third party, the paper said.
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