The Pentagon is actively lobbying for more pressure on New Delhi to ease tensions between India and Pakistan, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
It has also revealed that US President Barack Obama had issued a secret directive to intensify diplomacy towards that aim and to win Islamabad’s cooperation in Afghanistan.
Asserting that without détente between the two rivals, US efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer, the directive in December concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region, the daily said citing “people familiar with its contents”.
A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbour.
The Obama administration has, so far, made few concrete demands of New Delhi, it said citing US and Indian officials.
According to US officials cited by the Journal, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.
The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarised in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House’s three-month review of Afghan war policy in December, it said.