Barack Obama's Kashmir thesis!

Barack obama

As Obamamania grips much of the world, including India, the man who might become the next President of the United States has ideas on Jammu and Kashmir that should cause some concern to New Delhi.

Given its vastly improved relations with the United States and Pakistan, India has no reason to press the panic button. Yet it should be quickly flagging its concerns with the foreign policy team of Senator Barack Obama, should he be declared the Forty-fourth President of the United States on Tuesday night.

In an interview broadcast on MSNBC, Obama suggested that his administration would encourage India to solve the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan, so that Islamabad can better cooperate with the United States on Afghanistan. Obama's definitive thesis comes in three parts.

"The most important thing we're going to have to do with respect to Afghanistan is actually deal with Pakistan. And we've got to work with the newly elected government there (Pakistan) in a coherent way that says, terrorism is now a threat to you. Extremism is a threat to you. We should — try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they (Pakistan) can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants". India entirely agrees with the first two elements but should strongly object to the third.

Put simply, the Obama thesis says: the sources of Afghan instability are in Pakistan; those in turn are linked to Islamabad's conflict with New Delhi, at the heart of which is Jammu and Kashmir.

For months now, New Delhi has been assessing Obama's seeming hard-line towards Pakistan, including a threat to bomb terrorist bases there if Islamabad failed to act against the al-Qaida and the Taliban. India, however, has paid less attention to the carrot

Obama was offering Pakistan—American activism on Kashmir in return for credible cooperation in Afghanistan.

... contd.

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