Obama Envoy Invokes 'K' Word

16 January 2009
The Times of India

Washington DC: An indication of how the incoming Obama Administration looks at Jammu and Kashmir was available when the US Ambassador-designate to the UN, Susan Rice, identified Kashmir as one of the 'hot spots' and bracketed it with conflict-torn regions, including the Balkans and Golan Heights. The reference to Kashmir came as passing mention during Rice's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held a nomination hearing for her on Friday. 'From the Balkans to East Timor, from Liberia to Kashmir, from Cyprus to the Golan Heights, the United Nations has, for more than six decades, played a critical role in forestalling renewed fighting, helping to resolve conflict and repair war-torn countries, providing humanitarian aid, organizing elections, and responding to threats to international peace and security,' Rice said in her testimony. Susan Rice, former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs in the Clinton administration, was foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama during his election campaign. After Obama won the November 4 presidential polls, he nominated Rice for US Ambassador to the UN, with Cabinet rank. In the past also Rice has identified Kashmir as one of the conflict zones of the world. In an article published in the Fall 2005 issue of the McGill International Review, Rice then as the Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution, wrote: 'al-Qaida appears to be recruiting and readying future generations of jihadis in many of the world's conflict zones from Kashmir to Chechnya and Iraq.' The article was co-authored by Corinne Graff, Senior Research Analyst in the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institutions.