Kashmir Comment Obama's First Foreign Policy Mistake: Analyst

5 January 2009
The Indian Express

Washington DC: The statement by President-elect Barack Obama regarding American intervention in Kashmir is his first 'foreign policy mistake', a leading US expert on South Asia said on Tuesday. A Kashmir initiative by America, however 'veiled', can undermine improving Indo-US ties, Selig S Harrison, director of Asia Programme at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International, said an opinion piece published in The Washington Times. 'President-elect Barack Obama has made his first big foreign policy mistake - pledging US intervention in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan,' he wrote. In an interview to the Time magazine in October last year, Obama had said that Kashmir is a place he wanted to 'devote serious diplomatic resources to get a special envoy in there, to figure out a plausible approach'. Harrison, who specialises in South Asia and East Asia for past 50 years, said Obama would face resistance from not only India, but also Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.