Intensify diplomacy to ease Indo-Pak tensions: Obama

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 00:08

Washington: In a secret directive,
President Barack Obama has asked his administration to
intensify efforts to make India resolve its tensions with
Pakistan, a priority for progress of the "US goals in the
region".

He has also asked his officials to intensify American
diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan,
asserting that without detente between the two rivals, the
administration`s efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in
Afghanistan would suffer, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The directive, issued 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 US daily said quoting `people familiar with its contents`.

According to officials, the Pentagon, in particular,
has sought more pressure on New Delhi, it said.

The only specific US request to New Delhi 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 journal said quoting US
and Indian officials.

The move comes amid continued requests by Pakistan
for an intercession by the US in Indo-Pak disputes, despite a
longstanding resistance from India to any mediation by a
foreign country.

Pakistan has long regarded Afghanistan as providing
"strategic depth" or a buffer zone in a potential conflict
with India, and does not want India to have a larger influence
in the country.

"Current and former US officials said the discussion
in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as
Pakistan ratchets up requests that the US intercede in a
series of continuing disputes," it said, adding the White
House declined to comment on Obama`s directive or on the
debate within the administration over India policy.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 00:08

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