'kashmir-specific envoy by obama will de
'KASHMIR-SPECIFIC ENVOY BY OBAMA WILL DERAIL INDO-US TIES'
Washington December 7:
A top security analyst has warned against the appointment of a Kashmir-specific envoy by the incoming Obama-led administration, saying it would undermine the great potential in the US-India relationship.
"President-elect Barack Obama's recent assertion that the US should try to help resolve the Kashmir issue so that Pakistan can focus on reining in militancy on its Afghan border is misguided," said Lisa Curtis of the think tank Heritage Foundation.
Although Obama rightly recognises the need for the US to engage in more robust regional diplomacy to defuse deep-seated animosities, he must avoid falling into the trap of seeking to appoint a Kashmir-specific envoy, which could backfire by fueling unrealistic expectations of those who wish to change the status quo as well as undermine the great potential of the US-India relationship, stressed Curtis.
"Raising the specter of international intervention in the dispute could fuel unrealistic expectations in Pakistan for a final settlement in its favour. Such expectations could encourage Islamabad to increase support for Kashmiri militants to push an agenda it believed was within reach," underlined the leading South Asia analyst, who is linked to the conservative Washington-based think tank in a Web Memo.
Curtis, a prolific writer on political and security issues of the Indian sub-continent, has argued that such a scenario is hardly unprecedented: as former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf initiated the Kargil incursion into Indian-administered Kashmir in 1999 precisely to raise the profile of the Kashmir issue and to encourage international mediation.