President Obama has disappointed Indians by refusing to label Pakistan as a country harboring terrorists. To the contrary he expressed his understanding of why Pakistan has been slow in ending militancy. He also disappointed Pakistan by politely refusing to play any role any resolution of Kashmir dispute. It was reported in these pages that President Obama has a very difficult task at hand while he is touring India these days. He has very successfully concluded economic deals with India which will help US economy to grow and create about 50,000 new jobs. And this is no mean achievement.
He has so far been successful but has stopped short of clearly toeing the Indian line, like British premier did, apparently disappointing Indians. He has done one or two sensible things and has advised his hosts that a stable Pakistan is in their interests. He clearly understands that for his Afghanistan mission, peaceful relations between these two South Asian neighbors are very crucial. President Barack Obama called on India on Sunday to bolster peace efforts with Pakistan that have floundered since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, relations seen as crucial to his troubled efforts to win the war in Afghanistan.
Reuters has reported that Obama has toed a cautious line between the two nuclear-armed foes, saying both were needed to help stabilize Afghanistan where thousands of U.S. troops battle militants. On the second day of his official visit to India, Obama faces a diplomatic tightrope in fostering ties with the growing global power, while at the same time helping Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid and promoting wider peace in Afghanistan.
"India's investment in development in Afghanistan is appreciated," Obama added. "Pakistan has to be a partner in this process; in fact all countries in the region are going to need to be partners in this process.
India has given $1.3 billion in aid to Afghanistan, a policy that genuinely unnerves Pakistan which sees its northern neighbor as its own backyard of influence. India wants stability there to stop the country being used to harbor anti-Indian Islamist militants.
On Saturday, Obama announced the United States would relax export controls over sensitive technology, a demand of India's that will help deepen U.S. ties with a country that now has more trade with China. The White House also announced Obama would support India's membership of four global non-proliferation organizations.
Sify News has reported President Barack Obama as saying that India has 'the biggest stake' in a successful and stable Pakistan. He asserted that it was in India's interest to remove the 'distraction' of insecurity in the region when it was moving ahead on the global economic stage. He also asserted that Pakistan was an 'enormous country' which was a 'strategically important country not just for us, but for the world'.
'Obviously the history between India and Pakistan is incredibly complex and born out of much tragedy and violence. It may be surprising, but I am absolutely convinced that the country which has the biggest stake in Pakistan's success is India. If Pakistan is unstable, that's bad for India. If Pakistan is stable and prosperous, that's good because India is on the move.'
In response to many targeted questions on militancy in Pakistan, he admitted that 'progress is not as quick as we like' and it was partly due to the difficult terrain of the terrorist havens in the North-West Frontier Province and also because the Pakistan army was slowly adapting to its changed focus.