Beware of the Chenab plan
By: Arindam Banerji, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
June 19, 2003
Something that is about to come down on India within the next few weeks or months – the forcing of the Chenab plan on India, by Pakistan and their friends in the US.
The reason for such an obnoxious plan seeing the light of day - simple! India has never bothered to propose anything better.
(1) The first mention of this possibility came in the article by Arvind Lavakare in rediff : http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/may/31arvind.htm
as "Memories of that nightmare were aroused by a recent report from The News of May 15 e-mailed by Varsha Bhosle. Based on Geo TV's 'Capital Talk' programme, the report said Niaz A Naik, former Pak foreign secretary, had, for the first time, disclosed on television that he had discussed the 'Chenab Formula' with Prime Minister Vajpayee and R K Mishra in 1999 as a solution to the Kashmir dispute during his back-channel diplomacy in Delhi. Naik claimed he discussed the formula with a map of J&K in front and that Vajpayee had shown 'a lot of interest' in the formula. In a nutshell, the Chenab Formula meant that J&K state would be divided between Hindu and Muslim majority areas, with the city of Srinagar and most parts of the Kashmir valley going to Pakistan as the population of these areas consist of a Muslim majority. Naik also said India and Pakistan could discuss the formula again.
This latest revelation by Naik about Vajpayee's interest in the Chenab Formula makes one suspect, nay dread, that there was more than a grain of truth in the article by senior journalist M D Nalapat, datelined New Delhi, July 9, 2001 and posted on tehelka.com With the Agra summit only a few days away, Nalapat wrote of 'getting reports that individuals close to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had assured their Pakistani interlocutors that he would, in effect, hand over the Kashmir valley to the jehadis in exchange for peace elsewhere.'
(2) But, since then the Kashmir Telegraph has been reporting the same, as in http://www.kashmirtelegraph.com/0603/one.htm
- "EDITOR'S NOTE: Kashmir TELEGRAPH has reasons to believe -- beyond any shadow of doubt -- that United States is 'arm-twisting' Pakistan -- more specifically, India, in accepting the 'Chenab Plan'. A 'sinister plot', which if America has its way, brings about the division of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir on religious lines -- with Muslim-majority areas accorded a quasi-sovereign status. BJP -- the ruling party -- it seems, has all along been clandestinely involved in this sinister plot, which undermines the basis principle -- rejection of the two-nation theory -- on the basis of which India was founded. It is in this context that one must examine the remarks of General Jay Garner, setting December, 2004 as the American deadline for resolving the Kashmir issue. What are the specifics of the Chenab Plan? Who are (have been) the chief actors behind the scenes? Excerpts from an essay, entitled, J & K after 9 /11, published by Kashmir TELEGRAPH in its June, 2002 edition (in arrangement with Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi)."
(3) On Friday, on Fox News Bill O’ Reilly’s show, Mansoor Ijaz (one of the prime negotiators of the 2000 ceasefire) claimed that he’s in Paris negotiating on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan – claimed that it would take him one more week to finish initial negotiations between the Indians and the Pakistanis.
(4) Saleem Shehzad says in his article http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EF18Df02.html
published in Asia Times, that "Sources in the Foreign Office familiar with the agenda say that key decisions likely to be agreed on by Musharraf and Bush at Camp David include the following:
- A clear road map for resolution of the Kashmir conflict in which the "Chanab" formula, which envisages the division of Kashmir along religious lines, is likely to be adopted. Thus, the Muslim-majority areas would be allowed to join Pakistan, while the areas where Hindus and Buddhists are in the majority would remain with India…."
(5) Both Vajpayee and Advani in recent weeks have talked about compromise on Kashmir and/or flexibility on Kashmir.
(6) Finally, Kasuri said that "preparations for the blueprint were under way" in HT. The problem is as a well-known Indian journalist wrote to me "those in authority in Delhi are interested in gunning for those who oppose them, not those who oppose the nation."
Such a move would certainly mean a huge strategic change for India - unfortunately, not a very good one …
Arindam Banerji, Ph.D.