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Expert warns against US intervention on Kashmir

india Updated: Oct 29, 2009 15:48 IST
Arun Joshi

A leading US think tank has warned the Obama administration against sending any signals of intervention on Kashmir, for that could prove "counterproductive," and suggested that it should follow the policy of reticence of the Bush era.

Any US intervention, made tempting in the hope that its midwife role in "resolving the Kashmir dispute" in the hope that that such a success might finally stimulate whole hearted Pakistan cooperation on counter terrorism, " will therefore run the serious risk of both setting back the peace process "

It also alerted about such a move " disrupting US -Indian relations, even as it fails to secure increased Pakistani cooperation on counter terrorism."

This conclusion of a US based think tank Carnegie Endowment 's senior fellow and leading strategic expert on strategic and global security affairs, Ashley J Tellis, has come at a time when Prime Mnister Manmohan Singh Thursday in Srinagar ruled out any external pressure in moves to reopen dialogue with Kashmiri separatists.

" We are not acting under any pressure," Prime Minister was very clear and firm, when it was asked, whether the building international pressure was guiding Delhi's hands on Kashmir.

Tellis, in his policy brief titled, " The United States and India 3.0", ahead of Prime Minister 's visit to the US next month, has drawn a complete range of Indo-Pak competition over Kashmir and how the silence during the Bush era helped Delhi and Islamabad to make a marked progress on the issue.

He has listed Kashmir as one of the three issues which could underline the Indo-US cooperation. The other two are: terrorism, and balance of powers.

In a very succinct manner he has referred to " Washington's deliberate reticence on Kashmir", which enabled and to move forward on negotiations on the issue.

According to Tellis, Washington's absence from this process prevented Islamabad from being able to up the ante in its negotiations with New Delhi on the assumption that it could " rely on American support, while simultaneously permitting New Delhi to be generous toward Islamabad as was permitted by its desire for reconciliation and domestic process."

Manmohan Singh noted these elements of progress on Wednesday in Anantnag, Kashmir, when he referred to the opening of the cross-LoC routes for people to people contact, trade etc.

"Now, however, the future of these eight years of hard negotiations on the Kashmir dispute will be at risk if the Obama administration persists with its intimations of intervention," policy brief underlined.

While sounding a warning against renewing the invocation of settling the " dispute" by taking into " the wishes of Kashmiri people," Tellis says: " such an invocation today is both gratuitous and counterproductive."