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Obama's South Asia strategy keeps out Kashmir

New Delhi, Sat, 28 Mar 2009 NI Wire

Considering the present terror activities in Pak-Afghan border, while recognizing Pakistan as the root of the security problem in the South Asia region, the Obama administration has made it clear that it would not get involved in the Kashmir issue.

Keeping its new strategy in the region intact, the United States has however expressed its willingness to bring both India and Pakistan into dialogue. This is in interest of US as it needs Pakistan’s participation in the struggle against terrorists in Afghan border.

During a media brief on Friday, President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser, Gen James Jones, said reporters: ‘We don’t intend to get involved in that (Kashmir) case.’ He however told that they would like to peruse more intensive regional diplomacy involving all key players in South Asia, engaging Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in a new trilateral framework at the highest levels.

Referring to the incessant terror activities in the western side of Pakistan which has been a headache of US, Jones said: 'The time is so serious that we need to build the trust and confidence in the region, so that nations can do what they need to do in order to defeat the threat posed by Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist groups.'

The US officials also plan to bring others who have a stake in the security in the region. 'As America does more, we will ask others to join us in doing their part,' he said.

According to Jones, here the Central Asian states, Gulf nations, Iran, Russia, India, and China can together work to ensure overall peace, security and development of the region.

Earlier in a statement, the US President Barack Obama has said that Al-Qaeda terrorists are hiding in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and US has a focused goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in their safe heavens. America is also planning to send hundreds of additional diplomats and civilian experts into the region.

Moreover the crisis in Pak and Afghan, the successful conduct of assembly election in Indian-administered Kashmir, which recorded over 60 per cent polling in the five-phase election, despite the boycott call by separatists, in some way has discouraged US administration not to take any new stand on Kashmir issue.

India had already refuted President Obama’s earlier comment on Kashmir suggesting US intent to solve Kashmir issue. India has been counting it as only a bilateral dispute and any third-party involvement is out of India’s consent.

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