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Acknowledge Pak is N-power, Asia Society tells Obama

The Obama Administration should encourage the Indo-Pak dialogue, including back-channel diplomacy on Kashmir, and acknowledge Islamabad's nuclear status, a task force formed by US-based Asia Society has suggested in comments which may raise hackles in India.

world Updated: Apr 05, 2009 21:39 IST

The Obama Administration should encourage the Indo-Pak dialogue, including back-channel diplomacy on Kashmir, and acknowledge Islamabad's nuclear status, a task force formed by US-based Asia Society has suggested in comments which may raise hackles in India.

The independent task force set up last year included Richard Holbrooke, the Special US Representatives for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and General James Jones, National Security Advisor. But both of them stepped down from the task force before the first draft was written, and as such they are not associated with the report, it says.

Co-chaired by Thomas Pickering (Ambassador to India 1992-93) and strategic expert Barnett Rubin, the report "A Strategy for Stabilising Afghanistan-Pakistan" gains significance given that the tone and tenor of this 50-page document echoes that of the Obama Administration officials.

This has been reflected in the statements made by them even during Congressional hearing in the past two weeks.

"The United States should continue to encourage Pakistan and India to build on their existing composite dialogue to normalise their relations, including their behind-the-scenes efforts to de-escalate tensions over Kashmir and find a lasting settlement to this dispute," the report said.