Obama govt has 'quiet focus' on Kashmir

18 March 2009
The Nation

Washington: Observing that the Obama administration is looking at Pakistan through a different lens than its predecessors, a former American diplomat said on Wednesday that the new US govt would quietly focus itself on Kashmir away from the public glaze.William Milam, the former US Ambassador to Pakistan, identified India and Kashmir as one of the issues, which the Obama administration would focus on while trying to find a solution to Pakistan. 'There is one more thing and it is a very delicate thing that I think this administration will focus on. But it will be hard to determine this focus because it will be quite closely held and under wraps. And that is the India-centricity of Pakistan,' said Milam, who was in Islamabad from 1998 to 2001.'Everything that Pakistan does, at least in foreign affairs and security issues, is viewed through the lens of India, which it views as its eternally hostile neighbour,' Milam said, adding that the US cannot do much at least on the issue of Kashmir due to India's position on it.' There is no good way we can do this. We certainly cannot be seen to meddle or to even mediate on the issues, particularly the Kashmir issue.But we really have to work on putting this back together,' Milam said testifying before the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.