Temper Expectations From US: Omar4 November 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said India should 'temper' expectations from the United States on dealing with Pakistan but felt that under the circumstances it has done what was expected of it. Ahead of US President Barack Obamaís visit to India, Omar said the visit does pose 'unique problems' to the State as an effort would be made to try and bring Jammu and Kashmir into 'forefront' by terrorists and separatists. 'I think we should temper our expectations from the US by being a little more realistic of their own priorities. The US has a situation in Afghanistan for which they need Pakistan and canít push it beyond a point,' he said. He was replying to a question whether the US was doing enough to rein in Pakistan. 'I think we need to be realistic and accept that if we think that the US is going to read only what we give them and not factor in what sort of result that would have on their relationship with Pakistan and by association in Afghanistan, then I think we are just kidding ourselves. So under the circumstances the US has done what was expected of it,' the 40-year-old Chief Minister said. He said New Delhi was 'very clear' on what it expected. 'I think the Government is very clear on what they expect and what they hope from this visit. They are playing down expectations rather than playing up,' he said. Omar said he had not seen any statements suggesting that New Delhi was expecting a lot from the US. 'I think more is written about in various articles and pieces of op-ed pages of newspapers rather than any sort of statement from the Government,' he said. In an apparent reference to the Chittisinghpora massacre in March 2000 when 35 Sikhs were mowed down by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists during the visit of President Bill Clinton, the Chief Minister said 'the Obama visit does pose its own unique problems for us.íí 'Even though he is not coming to the state, I think our security deployment and the stress that I have probably equals the Maharashtra and the Delhi Chief Ministers..Perhaps more so because the risk of something happening in J&K is far more than the risk of that happening in Delhi or Maharashtra.' Asked about the current lull in violence and whether it indicated improvement in the situation, Omar said 'I donít think any of us has a crystal ball to be able to predict. Perhaps if you ask me this question once the US Presidentís aircraft lifts off from the runway in Delhi, I might have a slightly a better answer for you. 'Until then we all are just waiting to see exactly how it happens because an effort will be made to try and bring Jammu and Kashmir into the forefront while the US President is here. They have done it in the past and they will possibly make an attempt this time as well.'