Pak Will Use US Scrutiny To Bring Focus On Kashmir

28 March 2009
Etalaat News Service

New Delhi: India-Pakistan ties will come under constant scrutiny by the US, as President Barack Obama announced that lowering India-Pakistan tension will be part of the overall White House strategy for the region. While the K word was not mentioned when the US president outlined his new approach to the war against al-Qaeda centred in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kashmir will certainly come into focus, sooner rather than later. 'To lessen tensions between two nuclear-armed nations that too often teeter on the edge of escalation and confrontation, we must pursue constructive diplomacy with both India and Pakistan,' Obama said, outlining his plans for the region. Indian officials refuse to publicly comment on the statement, but privately they say that Pakistan will obtain its pound of flesh from Washington by focusing on a final resolution of the Kashmir issue. 'Pakistan will take the opportunity to bring Kashmir to the table. But India need not be defensive and can withstand the pressure,' said a senior Indian official, not wanting to be identified. Kashmiri separatists are confident that President Obama will take up the issue seriously. 'India and Pakistan will be forced to take a fresh look at Kashmir. The international pressure will be enormous,' Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Bhat said last week.