Obama unlikely to mediate on Kashmir: US Congress report

THE Obama Administration is unlikely to mediate on the Kashmir issue and the US policy of non-interference will continue despite calls for greater American involvement.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published: March 11, 2009 8:52 am

THE Obama Administration is unlikely to mediate on the Kashmir issue and the US policy of non-interference will continue despite calls for greater American involvement,according to a new Congressional report.

Indo-US ties appear all set to strengthen under Obama’s presidency despite apprehensions in some quarters about “potential friction” on issues like Kashmir and nuclear non-proliferation,said the 83-page report,‘India-US Relations’ by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Referring to some apprehensions that the Obama Administration may mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue,the report said this is unlikely to happen as the US would continue with its policy of non-interference.

“Secretary of State Clinton recognises the dangers of rising tensions in Kashmir while also deferring calls for greater US involvement in the situation,saying the US role will continue to be as it was under the previous Administration: settlement facilitation,but no mediation,” it said.

“Some look to history in anticipating potential friction on issues such as non-proliferation (where India may be pressed to join initiatives like the CTBT and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty); human rights and Kashmir (where the new Administration could become more interventionist); and bilateral economic relations (where Obama may pursue so-called protectionist policies),” the report pointed out.

Yet,it also noted,“Obama’s statement that ‘Our rapidly growing and deepening friendship with India offers benefits to all the world’s citizens,’ suggests that the bilateral strategic partnership likely will continue and even deepen.”

“While many Indian analysts opine that Republican US Presidents typically have been more beneficial to Indian interests than have Democratic ones,most appear to conclude that undue worry is unnecessary,and that the selection of a Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) perceived as friendly to India has done much to ameliorate such concerns,” the report said.

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