Kashmir will remain the 'Achilles heel' of Indo-Pak relations, revealed a declassified report prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 25 years ago.
The report said the "intensity of feeling" attached to the dispute makes it a "grave source of tension". The American intelligence agency was keeping a close watch on the Kashmir developments over the years and prepared a series of reports on how Nehru's "emotionalism" determined India's policy and politics behind the dismissal of the Sheikh Abdullah government in 1953, among others, Deccan Herald reported.
The January 1981 report 'Kashmir: A Simmering Trouble Spot' details the rising potential for trouble due to heightened political and religious tension in Kashmir. It went on to talk about a "deep reservoir of distrust and suspicion", while warning about the issue exploding "with little forewarning". "Kashmir will remain the Achilles heel of the India-Pakistan relations for the foreseeable future. It is so deeply ingrained as an emotional issue in both countries that it probably will not fade with the passage of time. The intensity of feelings attached to the dispute also makes it a grave source of tension," it said.
Such warnings were a recurring theme in CIA reports. The 'Indian-Pakistani Impasse over Control of Kashmir' filed in November 1963 had talked about the dispute remaining "one of the bitterest legacies" of the 1947 partition. "After 15 years, neither Pakistan nor India is any more willing to accept a solution… Pakistan's frustration over its inability to wrest the Valley from India is still the basic emotion pervading its entire foreign policy," it said.
On what lies at the core, the CIA explained its reasons in a 1953 March report when it said that India's position is based on Nehru's "emotionalism over Kashmir, his ancestral home, on the belief that to make concessions would display weakness and on the fear that the Muslim majority in Kashmir would vote for accession to Pakistan".
However, 10 years later, the CIA said, "While it is true that his family is of Kashmir Brahmin origin, having left there in the 18th century, and that he is particularly fond of vacationing in the Valley, a more significant factor seems to be his strong commitment to the concept that the Indian government and politics cannot be based on communal — i.e. religions — considerations."
In 1956, it wrote that the religious status of the people of Kashmir is paramount to Pakistan, while India considers that the question of religion is less significant than the economic and political environment provided for Kashmiris. Courtesy: DHNS