59454 4/5/2006 13:09 Embassy Islamabad SECRET ISLAMABAD 005767 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/04/2016 TAGS: PREL, PK, PGOV, PTER, IN

SUBJECT: YASIN MALIK TELLS KASHMIRI MILITANTS “”GIVE PEACE A CHANCE””

REF: ISLAMABAD 4386

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) Introduction: Srinagar-based Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik has told post that he has used his extended March-April 2006 visit to Pakistan to reach out to Kashmiri militant leaders, counseling them to lay down their arms and give the peace process a chance....

GOP Tightening the Purse Strings? --------------------------------- 2. (S) Malik’s early March arrival in Pakistan coincided with press reports and rumors circulating in Islamabad that the ISI had summoned the leaders of the Kashmiri militancy for a March 8 meeting in which the GOP thanked the militants for their struggle, but then told them to lay down their arms and give the bilateral peace process a chance.

3. (S) Mohammed Rafiq Dar, Secretary General - Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF - Yasin Malik branch), offered the most detailed description of the meeting and its aftermath. Dar, who was shepherding Malik’s visit to Pakistan, said that the confusion amongst the UJC leaders following the March 8 meeting created an opening for Malik to advocate a cease fire. For example, Dar said that Malik held several conversations with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) leader Mohammed Yusuf Shah (aka ”Salahuddin” or ”Syed Salahuddin,” a heavy-hitter in the UJC), who said that he found himself joining the strike simply out of comradeship, swept along as the other militants reacted impulsively to the GOP’s message. HM: On Board, or Not? ---------------------- 4. (S) Malik and Dar told poloffs that subsequent conversations with the HM leader reinforcing the message to stop the violence and support the peace process led to Salaluddin’s public statement, reported in the “”Daily Times”” on March 31, that “”not only HM but the entire militant leadership would consider (a) truce if the Indian government acknowledges the disputed and tripartite nature of the Kashmir issue.”” ...(Note: The syntax of Salahuddin’s remark suggesting that the militancy would naturally die off if only the militants were given a seat at the table indicates that it was lifted straight from Malik’s talking points, which paraphrase Preseident Musharraf’s own thinking. End note.) 6. (S) Despite the back-sliding in the April 2 HM statement, during a brief exchange on the margins of the IIPCR seminar on April 3, Malik and Dar reaffirmed to poloff that Salahuddin is on board with the move toward a cease fire...and that he is in a position to help Malik bring other UJC leaders along. Comments -------- 7. (S) As celebrated Kashmiris moderates like Malik and APHC leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (who also stayed on for a week of public appearances and official meetings following the World Social Forum) have traveled across the LOC with some frequency in the past year, their dialogue with the Pakistani public has drawn out common threads: a call for all parties -- including the Kashmiri militants -- to renounce the use of violence; support for President Musharraf’s initiatives for pursuing the peace process; and insistence that Kashmiri voices (including the militants) be included in the peace process. (Note: Malik advocated the “”Nagaland model”” as instructive in all of his conference presentations. End note.)

For example Malik’s vision of a trilateral peace process is a far cry from ecumenical, including hard-core militants but excluding “pro-India” Kashmiris such as Omar Abdullah.... 9. (S) Malik’s visit offered poloffs an unusual opportunity to assess GOP assurances of a clamp down on the Kashmiri militancy. Malik and Dar monitor the militants closely; their confirmation that Kashmiri militants are chafing under the GOP clamp down and that some militancy leaders are inclined to tow the line, is encouraging. The minimal public controversy surrounding Musharraf’s Kashmir policy suggests that he has largely succeeded in changing the terms of reference. Whereas Pakistanis have historically seen the conflict as a matter of Pakistani’s national claim to Kashmir, it is increasingly viewed here as a matter of Kashmiri rights. Recent visits by Malik, the Mirwaiz and even Omar Abdullah (who praised Musharraf’s initiaves following the President’s meeting with Pugwash participants) are reinforcing this new perspective. CROCKER ”