Obama visit: US rebuffs Pakistan’s bid to globalise Kashmir

Monday, October 25, 2010

NEW DELHI - As Pakistan steps up efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue during President Barack Obama’s India visit, the US Monday rebuffed Islamabad, making it clear that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

The US stance on Kashmir has been very clear. The conflict in Kashmir is part of discussions between India and Pakistan, and not an issue for the US and other countries to take role, said a senior US government official, who did not wish to be named.

India’s security forces are suspecting an escalation in militancy in the Kashmir Valley in the run-up to Obama’s visit and have pointed out that terror attacks in the state coincided with then president Bill Clinton’s visit to India in 2000.

The official emphasised that the US was aware of India’s concerns over its aid to Pakistan, but made it clear that Washington was constantly asking Islamabad to do more on the counter-terrorism front.

We are constantly talking to Pakistan and asking them to do more, the official said when asked about India’s concerns over Pakistan’s misuse of the US aid to bolster its anti-India war machine.

Admitting that China will be among a host of global issues that will be discussed between Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the official said the US saw India as having an important role in Asia, but was keen that India has a very positive relationship with China. He added that the US and India have common opportunities and concerns vis-a-vis China.

Obama’s upcoming visit to India next month will not only be the longest in his 20-month presidency but also give a definite direction to future ties with India in a host of areas such as economy, environment, energy and education, officials said.

The lifting of restrictions on high-technology exports to India and an endorsement by the US of a bigger global role for India in the United Nations and the larger global stage could well be highlights of Obama’s maiden visit to India.

will not be displayed