Top US expert urges Obama to help resolve Kashmir during November India visit


“When Obama visits India in November, he must secure a deal on Kashmir, the disputed province where unrest is building again. At stake is another Indo- Pakistani confrontation “with nuclear potential,” a top U.S. expert, who advised the White House on U.S. policy toward the region, advocated strongly.Assessing the regional security in the backdrop of recent unrest in Indian occupied Kashmir, Bruce Riedel notes “just as the war in Afghanistan is getting bloodier and Pakistan is drowning in floods, a new (yet old) battlefield is heating up in Kashmir.”
“President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan always needed a Kashmir component to succeed; that need is becoming more urgent and obvious now. His trip to India in November will be a key to addressing it,” he emphasized in a commentary.
This summer, after several years of relative quiet, the Muslim majority in the Vale of Kashmir, the heart of the disputed region, began protesting against Indian occupation, he notes.
“Young Kashmiris began protesting against what they allege are Indian occupation forces’ human-rights abuses. Up to 700,000 Indian army and police garrison the province with a very heavy hand. Stone-throwing produced clashes with the Indian
army. Over a hundred have died in what is becoming a Kashmiri version of the first Palestinian intifada of the late 1980s. Polling shows the majority of the Muslim population wants independence.”
“For the U.S., reducing and resolving the India-Pakistan Cold War before it goes hot is critical to stability in South Asia, isolating the jihadi extremists and preventing a war in South Asia that could go nuclear,” he argues.
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