Given India’s successful handling of “asymmetrical” terrorist and insurgent movements like those in Punjab and Kashmir, the then US ambassador David Mulford had advised the Bush administration to learn and gain from New Delhi’s counter—terrorism experiences, according to a secret memo made public by WikiLeaks.
“Using every opportunity available to signal our interest in learning from India - which has successfully tackled ’asymmetrical’ insurgencies in Punjab and Kashmir - will go a long way to reduce this distrust and may prompt Indian officials to be more receptive to our offers of support,” Mr. Mulford wrote in the secret embassy cable dated February 23, 2007.
“There is much India could offer us of value to strengthen our counter—terrorism efforts. For instance, they can give us more information about the nature of the terrorist threat in India and South Asia, and help us develop new strategies for defeating terrorists derived from India’s experience in Kashmir,” he said in the cable addressed to Frank Urbancic, the then Acting—coordinator for Counter—terrorism.
They also may have information about Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Sri Lankan and Pakistani terrorists that they could share the Ambassador wrote in his secret memo.
The United States, which has accused the whistle—blower website WikiLeaks of stealing its secret cables, has however, refused to either deny or confirm the authenticity of these cables.
Mr. Urbanic’s visit to New Delhi took place a little over a week after the bombing of the Samjauta Express train between New Delhi and Lahore.
At the same time, the Ambassador noted about the lack of cooperation between India and the U.S. on counter—terrorism issues and how New Delhi remained genuinely concerned about Pakistan’s continued support to terrorist groups.
“India’s lingering zero-sum suspicion of US policies towards Pakistan, its fiercely independent foreign policy stance, its traditional go—it—alone strategy toward its security and its domestic political sensitivities over the sentiments of its large Muslim population, have all contributed to India’s caution in working with us on a joint counter—terrorism strategy,” according to the cable.
While India has been very keen to receive information and technology from the US to further its counter—terrorism efforts, it provides “little in return, despite our belief that the country should be an equal partner in this relationship,” it said.
“India frequently rebuffs our offers of support for their police investigations of terrorist attacks and our offers of training and support are often met with a stalled logistical pace,” the cable said.