Obama’s Kashmir comments hit a raw nerve in India

November 3, 2008

Barack Obama has hit a raw nerve in India by suggesting the United States should try to help resolve the Kashmir dispute so that Pakistan can focus on hunting down Islamist militants on its north-western frontier — who in turn threaten stability in Afghanistan — rather than worrying about tensions with India on its eastern border. India is extremely sensitive to any suggestion of outside interference in Kashmir, which it sees as a bilateral dispute, though Pakistan itself has long chafed against this position.

“The most important thing we’re going to have to do with respect to Afghanistan, is actually deal with Pakistan,” Obama said in an interview last week with MSNBC. “And we’ve got work with the newly elected government there in a coherent way that says, terrorism is now a threat to you. Extremism is a threat to you. We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants.”

On the face of it, the comments are not particularly dramatic. For months now, U.S. analysts have been saying the solution to Afghanistan lies in Pakistan, not just because al Qaeda and the Taliban are based there, but also because they believe Pakistan will never fully turn its back on Islamist militants as long as it thinks it can use them against India.

Nor are they particularly new. Back in July, Obama said the situation in Afghanistan might be made easier if the United States worked to improve trust between India and Pakistan. He has also accused Pakistan of misusing U.S. military aid meant to help it fight al Qaeda and the Taliban to prepare for war against India.

The sensitivity, however, lies in the fact that the comments were made at all by a man who opinion polls show as well ahead of John McCain before Tuesday’s presidential election.

“As Obamamania grips much of the world, including India, the man who might become the next President of the United States has ideas on Jammu and Kashmir that should cause some concern to New Delhi,” wrote Indian analyst C Raja Mohan in the Indian Express. “Given its vastly improved relations with the United States and Pakistan, India has no reason to press the panic button. Yet it should be quickly flagging its concerns with the foreign policy team of Senator Barack Obama, should he be declared the Forty-fourth President of the United States on Tuesday night.”

While India would agree that a Pakistan secure within its own borders would be good for the region, “India’s problem with the Obama thesis is in the simplistic trade-off it sets up between Kashmir and Afghanistan,” he said.  American activism could backfire by undermining the current bilateral peace process, convince the Pakistan Army to harden its stance on Kashmir, and give a fresh boost to militancy there.

In contrast, Obama’s comments were welcomed by Kashmiris, both inside the Kashmir Valley and among the Kashmiri expatriate community in the United States. “I welcome the growing interest of Barrack Obama in resolving the Kashmir dispute,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the separatist Hurriyat alliance, told the Greater Kashmir newspaper in Srinagar. “The US and international community is gradually recognizing that resolution of Kashmir dispute was imperative for peace in South Asia.”

So who is right? Arguably some of the greatest gains in the peace process were made behind-the-scenes in bilateral talks hidden from the glare of international attention.  The agreement to call a ceasefire on the Line of Control, the heavily militarised frontline dividing Kashmir, for example, was made in November 2003, before the formal peace process was even launched in January 2004. But were these gains enough?

And how will Obama’s election rhetoric translate into policy if he becomes the next president of the United States?





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Considering this dispute has gone on for decades with a horrendous loss of life and the situation in Kashmir is tenuous at best, I can hardly agree that “bilateral” efforts have paid off. Bilateral leaves the Kashmiri people out of the equation – and the voice of the people who are suffering the most in this must be heard. If Barack Obama gains the presidency (please God), perhaps at very long last Kashmir itself will have the chance to speak. Why is India so afraid of this? Kind of telling, isn’t it?

Posted by KWangnoo | Report as abusive

Well India should be worried. Anybody who is remotely familiar with that region will know that the real problem there are the extremist elements within the Pakistani army. Without the reform of this destructive element, there can be no peace in South Asia. No matter what you do. Obama has no idea, what is talking about. It’s kind of scary that he will probably be the President of the US in a couple of days.

Posted by jef | Report as abusive

It is great to hear Senator obama taking some interest in resolving Kashmir Issue.I totally disagree with C.Rajamohan that Obamas comments will put a spanner in the so-called peace process between India & Pakistan.On the Contrary America’s intervention is likely to speed up that process.Besides People of Kashmir are not interested in India-Pak Cease-fire or cross Loc trade or demilitrisation of Siachin. They want their right of self-determination guarenteed by UN & promised by then Indian PM 60 years ago. They also want to get rid of six lac indian troops hovering around them 24 hours who commit arson,rape & wanton destruction of people & property on 24 hours a day basis.It also stands to reason that if two Countries have not been able to solve a problem for 60 long years,then where is the guarentee that they will solve it it in near forseeble future.It is also widely beleived among Muslims of the world that root cause of Global terrorism is the reaction of treatment meted out to Muslims in Palestine & Kashmir. Hence it is in America’s own interests to take a first step & solve Kashmir problem. Let us hope that Barack obama’s comments augur well for such a step

Posted by Abdul Majid Zargar | Report as abusive

Finally Obama has also done a Palin!! What he is talking about Pakistan to focus on other frontier? Never heard any thing so naive. Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism and has been exporting same to India on wholesale terms. Pakistan’s very existance is to try and harm India. Mr. Obama, it is not India that Pakistan has to worry about but it is Pakistan that India and USA have to worry about. Remember one Palin is more than what we can handle!!

Posted by Nick J | Report as abusive

Obama (or) McCain,

Worry abt the United States and its survival first and then worry about poking your nose into other’s internal business. That would be healthy for anybody and everybody.

As a loser you have not a single right to authoritatively decide on what others should do. So just mend your shoes and then try to help others if they ask for it.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

If you think Obama is the man who can finally help resolve the India-Pakistan issue over Kashmir. Then go ahead and vote for him. Dont think anymore. Do it. I did it.


Posted by Kanika | Report as abusive

Obama’s remark reflect his policy of finding the roots from where problems stem and work from there. It was evident even in his campaign. The matter is very complex, but it cannot be denied that his line of thought has at least SOME merit. Kashmir has always been an excuse for extremists in Pakistan to justify attacks in India and for protecting groups like Al-qaeda. In offering to try and help finding a solution, Obama is aiming at eliminating the reasons why these extremists thrive in that area and in effect eliminating it as a haven for them, and at the same time it will provide a basis of cooperation at the very least on the intelligence level between Pakistan and India.
At least it’s better than the knee-jerk reaction of airstrikes inside Pakistan territory which has obviously resulted into the Pakistanis cooling towards cooperating with the US in an effort to reign in these groups.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Kashmir is a natural part of pakistan.

Posted by sky | Report as abusive

The problem with this approach is that the Muslims are one global community and can’t be appeased piecemeal. Pakistan fighting the Taliban does not resolve the core issues underlying the Muslim conflict with the West. A comprehensive approach is required to make peace with the Muslim world that includes resolution of the Palestine conflict, implementation of Sharia or Muslim states in Europe and North America and American withdrawal from the Middle East.

Posted by Amit | Report as abusive

India should be concerned if Barack Obama becomes the president of the U.S.

He has a college friend whose family lives in Pakistan and he visited the country after college and stayed with that family. So he has connections with that country and I doubt that he knows any Indians or has visited India. So if he has to take sides between Pakistan and India, which side do you think he would take?

Posted by realmerv | Report as abusive

Hey Its realistic and practical approach of Obama and we Indians should be very realistic..we should help Pakistanis telling them that they are safer on their eastern borders and ..Kashmiris…hey let them decide themselves their future..there should be plebisite as both Indian and Pakistani governments decided before UN

Posted by Raja | Report as abusive

Why every US presidents loves Pakistan directly or Indirectly..the connection of Obama with Pakistan are not good reason of his love…
Hey USA can never forget his enemy Russia and its friends like India…
Pakistani foriegn policy was so good that it made friends in China and USA…Great Britian also loves Pakistan..
Hey revise Indian foriegn Policy..with Russia and Israel….

Posted by Raja | Report as abusive

@realmerv ,

Ok your logic is excellent …. he prays Hindu god … so whom will he support.

BTW, which pakistani friend are your referring to ?? Entire Republicans are not even worried abt this ???

Posted by srik | Report as abusive

@ realmerv
i don’t think international relations go by whom you have dinner with. it goes by country’s interest.

if US choose to go against the india’s position in kashmir. it will annul the good relation gained through the last few years. so it is US’s choice.
also i doubt how much leverage US has in india to convince the indian govt to reverse course.
furthermore statement of Obama doesn’t give any indication that US stance will be in favor of pakistan’s current position and kashmiri separatists.

Posted by unknown indian | Report as abusive

‘Favoring’ Indian or Pakistani claims to Kashmir has nothing to do with what Obama stated, and neither of these countries’ governments should read it as such. What was meant by that statement is that Kashmir is a key element in the instability of the region, with radical movements using it as shelter and recruitment ground as well as a reason to exist. If an agreement is reached, however, this will change and provide groundwork for strategic cooperation between the two countries and for significantly crippling radicals like Alqaeda in that part of the world.

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

India is not afraid of resolving Kashmir problem. What it does not want is another “Lebanon’ as its neighbor. No Muslim country in this planet is at piece with itself. Either they are fighting among themselves or with others.

Kashmiris will be in better state if they are with India by enjoying the special status it gets and benefiting from the rapid development India is going through.

Posted by Ashok | Report as abusive

American power is diminishing relative to the rest of the world, so I don’t think Obama will have the muscle to shove other large growing powers around, but will rather need their help to keep America from falling behind. It’s a question of issue saliency. India isn’t going to destroy its territorial integrity just to make Obama happy, and Pakistan’s failing economy and state aren’t going to be cured just by making some placating noises to it on Kashmir. Pakistan has deeper flaws in it that will keep it from delivering in the War on Terror, no matter what.

Posted by Sanjay | Report as abusive

India and Pakistan were formed in 1947, and the borers were decided at that time. So that should be respected by Kashmiris, as simple as that.

Posted by tetrix | Report as abusive


Posted by tetrix | Report as abusive

This is a first president who understands the real problem between pakistan and india. Kashmir issue should be resolved now, may be pakistan and india become best friends.

Posted by Phil S. | Report as abusive

‘terrorism is now a threat to you. Extremism is a threat to you.’—OBAMA
—No ! No ! O B A M A – it is a threat to ‘you’ America…
–Pakistan IS the TERRORIST !!!

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Obama has some idea of the problem but, doesn’t have complete knowledge of the issue including historical, geo-political and strategic issues.

If US tries influence Kashmir issue it will also draw China in as Pakistan has gifted part of Kashmir to China. US will be left with no effective influence/capabilities in Asia as India with severely curb its cooperation with US.

If Obama seriously follow’s his stated policy of putting his pinky finger in Kashmir issue and damage long term US interests, the real powers in US government will try and will most probably get rid of him as demonstrated by them previously.

One thing he must realize first is for any durable solution in Kashmir ISI (Inter Service Intelligence) and Pakistan Army must be thoroughly cleansed. Pakistan’s (ISI and Army) have an eye beyond Kashmir deep into India for a very long time now…The ultimate goal of the Jihadi elements is to get entire India and eventually entire world under “Sharia Law” (Islamic Rule)…

You must first understand the ideology of these scum bags before make such loose statements……

Eventually it is about “OUR FREEDM TO CHOOSE” that they want to take away…

Its u’r call guys….FREEDOM or slavery and oppression under the name of Islamic rule.

Obama will be the President of USA. This is the wrong guy at the wrong time becoming US president. He will eventually do more harm than good for America but, people do not see it that way as they are more concerned about short term gains.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

“Eventually it is about “OUR FREEDM TO CHOOSE” that they want to take away…”

– Posted by Indian

Tell that to the innocent kashmiris fighting for their freedom, what was it hudreds of thousands marching for freedom last month# before a curfew was imposed, Indian democracy is a joke.

Posted by Common sense | Report as abusive

India’s president was muslim (only 12% muslims in India), India’s Prime Minister is a Sikh (only 2% Sikhs in India), India’s ruling party’s president is Christian (only 2% christians in India). And you call Indian democracy a joke!!!

Posted by ss | Report as abusive

I agree with Obama on this regard. Kashmir’s problem has now been there for ever. Kashmir i’s have already sacrificed their lives and families in their freedom movement.It needs to be resolved.

Whether it should go to Pakistan or India???? I think people of Kashmir should decide.Pakistan nor India has no right to decide the destiny of kashmiris.

Posted by Nq | Report as abusive

[…] Obama’s Kashmir comments hit a raw nerve in India, Reuters, Nov 3 2008 […]

Posted by Indian Elections 2009 » Barack Obama is President-elect | Report as abusive

Now that Obama is the President elect,those in India who has trumpeted the victory of a black man should also realise that this man will layoff more call center jobs as well as mediate in Kashmir to the extent that in 4 years, India will be on its knees.Dont fool yourself anymore.Remember he is a husein and his heart is definitely with his muslim brethren.

Posted by patt | Report as abusive

@ss ……….Indian democracy is a joke in itself

The terrorism has many forms and the most heinous form of terrorism is state sponsored where an entire population is demonized, harrased and humiliated by a country enforcing its laws by force and military agression. Its a matter of pity that the entire population of a place like jammu kashmir resisting the military occupation is regarded as terrorism by India. The kashmiris are fighting for liberation of their homeland from 1 million troops ( about 12 lakh indian armed invaders positioned in kashmir to keep the population Indian ) by force not by their will. The right to self determination to kashmiris is a right given to them by united nations declaration recognized even by India. Now in a world ruled by tyrrants and war mongers, if you resist the army of state and art weaponry by mere stones it is termed as violent militancy often termed as islamic militancy.This is what’s going on in Indian Held region of Jammu Kashmir the so called land of kalidas for Indian fanatics. The peaceful demonstrations are being dealt with brutal force. Indian terrorists in uniform are using rockets, bombs and bullets to disperse the crowd, thus demonstrating the highest level of tolerance… .. The Indian intellectual society must be ahamed for their criminal silence over all these happenings.The mass murder of innocent civilians continues unabated.

The picture becomes upside down. In todays world if you dont possess power even your word of truth against a tyrrant is supposed to be a lie, since your statement is not supported by media and other mass communication channels that they possess. It is our duty to fight agression, injustice and opression by whatever means. We must support the cause of justice and we have to stand against opression in all forms especially in the moslem regions of kashmir, chechnya and palestine. We shall oppose it by all possible means

Posted by martin | Report as abusive

“innocent kashmiris”

—LACK of ‘Common sense ‘

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

“In todays world if you dont possess power even your word of truth against a tyrrant is supposed to be a lie,”

— You are spot on.People like you keep spreading malicious lies about India since it doesn’t reacts to fools- but don’t have the B***s to say the same of the globe trotting American terrorist, is it religious affinity?? could Iraq, Afghanitan be read a christian terrorism??

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

“India’s president was muslim (only 12% muslims in India), India’s Prime Minister is a Sikh (only 2% Sikhs in India), India’s ruling party’s president is Christian (only 2% christians in India). And you call Indian democracy a joke!!!”

– Posted by ss

Even dictators can give high positions to minorities, that doesn’t transform it into a democracy, in democracy power is held by the people and what choices ‘they’ make not a few puppets chosen to fool the world.

” “innocent kashmiris”

—LACK of ‘Common sense ‘”

– Posted by Indian

Lack of education, Need I say more?

Posted by Common sense | Report as abusive

Its a well known fact that Kashmir is a drain on Indian resources and no matter how hard government tries it will never be a part of India, people there grow up talking of independence,they listen to pakistani radio, watch pakistani tv and they loathe anything indian. To think/try of integrating kashmir in india is utter nonsense.

But kashmir cannot be given to pakistan(its foolish to think that kasmir can be independent, if india leaves it, pakistan will capture it by any means), because next Muslims will ask Hyderabad or Lucknow, which are muslim majority regions. Thanks to CPIM’s vote bank politics in west bengal which allowed bangladeshi muslims to settle in millions, parts of west bengal and northeast will be next in line.
For India Kashmir is a sign of democracy flourishing and Islamic forces kept at bay.

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

‘Lack of education’??? DUH

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Common sense (doesn’t suit you)
– we care two hoots what uncultured barbarians like you think of India – democracy or no democracy,who cares, India is for Indians, If parasites like you even remotely entertain any thoughts of further eating into it, you are in for a rude shock….

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

@ “Its a matter of pity that the entire population of a place like jammu kashmir resisting the military occupation is regarded as terrorism by India. The kashmiris are fighting for liberation of their homeland from 1 million troops ( about 12 lakh indian armed invaders positioned in kashmir to keep the population Indian ) by force not by their will.”

Am sorry to say Martin or who ever you are…its not Indian military that is occupying kashmir but the illegal muslims there occupying kashmir which is a part of India..people who claim kashmir their homeland today are illegal muslims woh should have no place in India.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

Resolving Kashmir Issue in favor of its legal holder is a need & is one thing and removing sinister design to spread islamist mentality thorough out india from Kashmir, Punjab, Assam and through other parts of world as thought by benefactors os Islam likes of Zia ul Haq anourd likes is another.
Resolving Kashmir will not resolve all your terror mentality issues.. Gain by fear is a philosophy to spread political and religious hold.. There is no easy solution than you strike to ask all fundamentalist Ulemas and Maulavis to change their non tolrent ways ..

Posted by Sanjay | Report as abusive

Well said Tektrix.

Posted by Sanjay | Report as abusive

OH Yes “Obama the Messiah” will come and solve the world’s problems.

WHAT PIPEDREAMS!!! People wake up.

Neither India nor Pak is going to give an inch of its current territory.
The only thing that “might” work is greater autonomy of the region, which is internal to both countries legislatures.

Pak needs to let go of its inferiority complex with India & trade with it and India needs to give a believable security guarantee to Pak that it wont divide the country again like 1971.

If that’s achieved, the region including Afghanistan will progress based on India’s booming economy.

I suggest a EU-type loose confederation among Afghan, India, Pak and Bangladesh (more than 25% of the world’s population) where borders are only on maps and everyone is free to move about and focussed on resolving the region’s grinding poverty.

Posted by Andy Rebeiro | Report as abusive

Andy Rebeiro
‘The only thing that “might” work is greater autonomy of the region’

– Kashmir has it’s own constitution, it’s legislative assembly has the choice to formulate new law, accept or reject any Indian Law as per their convenience, No Indian can buy land in Kashmir, the Kashmiri Muslims raped, killed & usurped the house & properties of Kashmiri Hindu & who are now living in pathetic conditions in their own country as refugees whereas the over- generosity of the Indian government has made today the ungrateful Kashmiri Muslims amongst the richest community with the highest per capita Income group of India, almost fifty times more than Bihar- the poorest state in India. what more do they lust for is the subject to ponder on, or are they simply blackmailing the Central government?- one thing is sure- not an independent country nor Pakistan in their wildest dream…

–spare us Indians from your ‘EU type’ suggestion, let us live in peace and harmony amongst ourselves…

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Indians should accept Obama’s help in solving Kashmiri problem now.It was india who went to U N O and pledged a plabicist for the Kashmiri people.Now it should let Kashmiris decide their fate by free and U N O supervised plebicite to decide their independent wish as india has no right to occupy Kashmir by force.
WAKE UP TO THE CALL OF FREEDOM BY KASHMIRIS,india shouldn’t mone about this.

Posted by sardar | Report as abusive

One part of Kashmir is with Pakistan other part is with India and both the countries are fighting tooth and nail for the other half sinking the meagre resources which could very well be used for development and alleviation of hunger,disease and poverty.
When the two parts of Kashmir are combined together it becomes US “United States”.

Posted by shef | Report as abusive

Indian leaders are in self denial. They are assuming USA is their friend. USA is not a friendly country for India or anyone in this world. We should form a pact with Russia & China similar to Nato. We should have a treaty where we commit that an Attach on One country is to be treated as an attck on everyone. The world has changed after Obama Presidency. Europe,Africa & USA will be united. Asia Excluding Japan,Middle East & India needs to forge new economic ties. We need to build a strong economic & defence pact to defend ourselves. Wake up guys Push your Government hard to this new reality.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

Pakis are born ‘true believers’ US is not Pakistan and Obama is not Musharaff.There is an entire establishment of the democratic party that collectively takes descisions its not a one man show.
And Kashmir is very low on his list of priorities after the economy,Iraq war,rising China etc etc.

India won’t give Kashmir away just like Pakistan won’t give Balochistan away and even Pakis will agree that India has far more cards on the table than Pakistan.

If there is to be a final solution it has to be acceptable to BOTH India and Pakistan.

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive

sardar !

—a Typical one….

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

‘We should form a pact with Russia & China similar to Nato. We should have a treaty where we commit that an Attach on One country is to be treated as an attck on everyone.’
— when will you Indian commies stop hallucinating, trust the sly chinese again!!! you bonkers or what?? give us a break- & sell your obsolete Marxist-leninist literature to the ‘radiwala’…
Russia we do have a cordial relationship, that’s enough..
— we can take care of our diplomatic relations with the Usa.. so relax…

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

The real sufferes are not the Muslims who are seeking a right to so called “Self Determination”, it is the Kashmiri Pundits who have been thrown out of their homes, livihood. It’s a gimmick to say that the Muslims in the Indian Part of Kashmir are suffering.Some of the benefits they get are:-
they have one of the highest per capita income amongst the Indians staying in any part of the country.
They have reserved seats for them in all the pretigous universities of India.
The Indian government has been pumping a lot of money and resources in developing the region, which includes rails links.

all these benefits, the Pakis can never think of giving to the Kashmiris even in the next 50 Yrs. Still the organisations like Huriyat conference keeps on shouting slogans of Independence. Its very imperative that it is not the “RITE TO SELF DETERMINATION” that they want, it is actually “RITE TO BE WITH THE PAKIS” that these people want

Posted by Neo-the One | Report as abusive

Obama is a Muslim. He is showing his color.
But let Obama know that India has fought Muslim invaders like him for a millenium and if Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t get his act together, then he should better stick with Pakistan.

India has grown without US. And India can continue to do so. It is for Mr. Hussein Obama to think over.

Kashmir is India’s and we will not tolerate this kind of intrusion in our internal affairs.

God Bless India

Posted by ProudHindu | Report as abusive

The kasmir issue is the main issue betwwen india and pakistan. the justice cant be served until the kashmir issue is solved.
international interference is needed in that so that the justifiation would be there

Posted by Abdul khaliq | Report as abusive

No matter what how many Obamas comes and goes , no one can resolve issues like Kashmir,palestine and chechnya etc . he said that to attract muslim votes and he got them and now who cares .

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

Many US administrations had tried to mediate in the Kashmir issue over the past 60 years. The UN also tried to intervene, but all ended up in failure. So, what is new in Obama’s proposal? It is his admission of Pakistan’s use of terrorism as a state policy to gain over India in Kashmir. When India complained about this, all US administrations right upto Bill Clinton’s were not ready to accept this fact even though evidence was staring right on their face. After 9/11 the situation changed because the US realized the danger from Pakistan sponsored terrorism for the US itself.

Whether it helps Kashmiri hardliners or not, any US meddling in Kashmir will help to make Indo-US relations hit lower levels and discourage India from supporting the US in international issues like Iran. It could also make India wary of awarding any defense contracts to US companies. It is up to the new US administration to decide whether they want to put pressure on Pakistan to relinquish its state policy of supporting terrorism or meddle in Kashmir and lose the natural ally in India.

Posted by Shaan | Report as abusive

Andy Rebeiro,

Yours is a nice proposal that is already in the minds of many forward thinking people of the Indian subcontinent. But it may come only when the societies of Pakistan and Bangladesh are refined to shed their Islamic extremist mindset. Since there is very little hope of that being achieved in the near future, the idea of confederation is at least for now too far fetched.

Posted by Shaan | Report as abusive

Ha, What are all Indians worried about? A thousand Obamas and Americas cannot force India to even take a minor decision without her will. What his comments will do is create a very bad impressions in the mind of common Indian. And if he doesn’t care about that, even thats okay with us.
It will take him at least two years to understand India. The sad thing about all this is that we Indians probably are the only people in the world who know how to curb terrorism and we have succeded 80% of it in Kashmir. His one statement has done a lot of damage to our efforts. He will pay for that and this is not a threat but a fact.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

from the time of the independence, kashmir has always been one of the biggest problems in establishing good relationships between Pakistan and India. it has been 61 years and the situation of the two countries and their fight over and their share and right on Kashmir has remained unchanged. both the countries have seen the ever changing governments of the U.S and had always refused to accept any help from any outside body. Obama’s win and in turn his promises feel surreal because the results that he is hoping are unacheivable. the battle between Pakistan and India will never end as long as Kashmir stands between the two countries. distracting the attention of Pakistan from India is not a solution that Obama will get much out of. India will still remain a threat to the ever growing problems of Pak. Both the countries refuse to step down from claiming their rights to KAshmir. both the countries have neglected their country’s problems over this issue. and if Obama thinks that resolving the Kashmir dispute would be a ride in the park than i feel he is sadly mistaken. the best solution at this stage is somehow leaving the Kashmiri people on thier own which again as i said is a solution that is surreal.

Posted by Madiha Bashir | Report as abusive

One of the most important things one has to remember is that the US and its policies are not governed by a single man sitting in the white house (OBAMA). They have to be ratified by series of people in the cabinet. Just by having a Muslim middle name, and probably Muslim heart, Obama cant do least thing. If he does something over the head or something that looks even sligtest Islamic, he would be shot in his head. Hence, I am not worried about Obama. hite people chose him coz, they new just one Black guy out there cant change a thing, he would be a silent fish among the big fish, a man just to show to the world that US is not racist….

Posted by Vik | Report as abusive

the kashmir issue should not be viewed as a dispute between india & pakistan but the main party to it are the people of kashmir. thousands of obama’s, manmohan’s, musharaf’s, geelani’s, advani’s or other world leaders can not dictate terms for the settlement of kashmir issue. there should be a free & fair discussion with the people of kashmir and a decision accepted by the majority should be endorsed. there is no sane soul on earth who’ll shy away from peace so peace is all what kashmiri’s are demanding for long. the genocide, oppression & suppression, rapes, religious interference, poverty, economic blockade is all what the occupier hindu bosses have given to the people of kashmir till date. i just want to convey to the whole world the slogan of peace “live & let live”. Grant us the freedom to choose our path & inshaullah we will prove to be very good neighbours of both india & pakistan.

Posted by ASHFAQ ZEHGEER | Report as abusive

first think about your own country ohh soory I think
USA is not u r country you are Muslim naaa
That’s why you are so careful about Muslim kashmiries and pakis lol
Indian going to miss Mr.bush to much

Posted by Rahul | Report as abusive


– we can take care of our diplomatic relations with the Usa.. so relax…

It is some idiots like you who work in our foreign policy who have screwed our country.I am not very sure if you live in our country in the first place.I think to kill this enmity between India & Pakistan once & for all we need to bring some creativity & imagination in fixing this issue.There has to be a public opinion which needs to be built slowly in india where we work to give some space for Pakistan to claim some victory.

The second thing i want to see in India is we got to make sure we open 20 or 30 more IIT engineering colleges where we force the graduating students to serve our country in a labaratory project similar to Manhattan Project where we work on a war footing to address our energy needs, health needs & bring in vast innovative projects which can lift our people from poverty. I think the Government needs to work with China & Russia to achieve this goal in a non partisan manner.

As part of our foreign policy i want the congress government to go, They shifted our Non Aligned Status & became pally pally with the US & led us into the darkest moment of our History.The snub which Obama gave to Manmohan Singh should come as a wake up call that we better pack our bags from there.

I would also want to see that there is curbs put on students who need to go to US for higher studies,or working in the US under HI/L1 Visa etc.Infact when the US government retailiates with tax on outsourcing which they have right to do, i want a special tax to be levied on all US companies which operate in India begining with our cool drink to buying their $15BN boeing planes.

It is time that we really move with the chinese far more aggressively who have a consistency in their foreign policy stance compared to the US which is very ficle minded. Yah given a choice we want the RED FLAG to fly in every indian house & beleive me it’s coming to India soon wake up to a communist government here.

Indian you got to change you name to AntiIndian it suits you better.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

First I want to ask all these people who are saying that International Interference should be allowed in the Kashmir issue that how much success has been achived by International Interference in Sri Lanka—> still the war is Raging between the two parties
wat happened with International Interference in Ethiopia- Eritria conflict—-> still war goes on
wat has happened between Narth Korea and South Korea—> still North Korea threatens to annhilate its southern neighbours

there are numerous more examples to show, but wat i meant to say is that its a foolishness on the part of those ppl who are asking for International mediation coz they knw they are much much more weaker in Strentgh and have no cause for fighting the Kashmir Issue, thats why they want to internationalize the Kashmir conflict to gain some SYMPATHY for themselves and proove their cause right.

Posted by Neo-the One | Report as abusive

Pakistan and US should pressurize and squeeze India to make sure Kashmir dispute is settled. Even if it means through military means. India only understands the language of force. Pakistani air force should deploy fighter squadron in north, The Army presence in Pakistani side of Kashmir should increase. Nuclear tests be carried out followed by deployment of missiles. The heat should be turned on India, probably a nuclear war is the last resort. The misery of Kashmiris will never end as long as India occupies it, no harm in trying to liberate it with nuclear weapons. If India relinquish control of Kashmir, all the better. If it doesnt happen and destruction followes as nuclear weapons are unleashed, still it doesnt matter. Kashmiri’s destiny will always be destruction as long as India occupies Kashmir.
Pakistan will have to stand up to the occassion and pledge unconditional moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris.

Posted by Liberate Kashmir | Report as abusive

Liberate kashmir,

If you think you will use nuke bomb & destroy each other you are a coward, if you use a weapon to get your freedom you are a bigger coward. All you have proved with your post is how much hatred & ignorance you have to practical realms of life. Suicide is the sincerest form of self criticism.

If you decide for 3 days to see everything in this world as a creation of God which you love you will make your life better. Squeezing India will not remove the poverty of your people,or you become prince xerex of persia.

Squeezing your mind of your hatred will atleast make your life, your friends life & your family life lot better.If you need kashmir issue to be solved it can be done where you build public opinion first by renouncing violence & allowing people who have unquestionable integrity to allow a ceasefire on the lifes of people.

Get your people to schools & colleges, impart a secular education , enlighten not darken the world Allow the pristine beauty of kashmir to be savored by all.Religion or Race should never be the architect based on which issues are settled. It is people’s will which needs to settle these issues.There are constructive ways where you contribute your ideas,it is the spirit of a people which needs to triumph. Atleast in the 21st century get over your parochial thinking & imagine all the people as one.What did you learn from the election in US,Racial prejudice was won over by inspiring leadership, Keep that faith this world can only be illuminated when you extend your first hand of trust & friendship.

Anyway there are a few blood thirsty people like you who have this deep sadistic joy of seeing people killed to satisfy your humor, honor & false notion of prestige.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

By the way liberator of Kashmir, Get over your US love, Indians would rather trust a Pakistani or a Persian than to trust a country like the US. Their wallet will keep getting richer when they play lamb versus lamb in Asia. India with China, China with Russia , Pakistan with Afghanistan.

Is your mind so bankrupt that you can’t think of resolving this issue when you look at how grateful they have been to both our countries & other asian countries.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

you wrote : “If you think you will use nuke bomb & destroy each other you are a coward, if you use a weapon to get your freedom you are a bigger coward.”
I am a Pakistani muslim, but our forefathers fought together for freedom from British rule. Do you know the history of India and its partition. The revolt and 1857 civil war. Did Bhagat Singh die in vain? Freedom is the right of everyone. Happiness is the right of everyone. The Kashmir dispute has been dragged on for 61 years.
Even in Pakistan, terrorist organizations play the Kashmir card to justify taking up arms to fight for freedom. Why not settle Kashmir?
And yes, I am not a blood thirsty person! not at all. I would like to live in peace as much as you do. Indian stubbornness on Kashmir is causing large scale frustration in Kashmir itself and Pakistan.
Lets settle Kashmir and see what great potential Pakistan and India possess.

Posted by Liberate Kashmir | Report as abusive

Liberate Kashmir,

Interesting !!. I am sure the issue is far more complicated than both of us can imagine. We will choose the wise men in our countries whom we have elected to work for a solution. At a philosophical level the analogy of our independance to equating to kashmir is difficult to fathom, Since the kashmiri people enjoy the same freedom what any indian citizen enjoys both its fruits & miseries of a functioning democracy.There is also additional safeguard not to change the demographic shift through Article 370.The intent i would say from the Government of India is honorable, I think may be they need to communicate more effectively to build trust & confidence with people of Kashmir.

I am not sure whether a 3rd party can dictate terms to both our countries how to resolve this conflict. Politically it will be suicidial even remotely for India & its citizens to agree to a US led peace initiative. I am sure someone like a Nelson Mandela Or Kofi Annan may be acceptable to both our country to see if there is a opportunity to deescalate the tensions & build some trust when fresh negotiations can be done in a fresh perspective.

Some logic are less appealing to me in the world of international politics like India Or Pakistan can have a nuke bomb but not Iran. You understand life sometimes is perception that if you are born in the US or the West you are of Pristine Morals while you take birth in this part of the land we become Immoral or Rogue Countries.

Let me ask you this honestly who do you think has screwed Pakistan more India or the US of Arrogance.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

your post is long and i read it. You have asked me a question. Let me answer that in full honesty:
In my opinion, the US has always tried to have a relationship with Pakistan on merit. In 1947 Pakistan was a new born nation on the world map. Came 1965 and war broke out between Pakistan and India. I can tell you Pakistan Air force was flying the more advanced fighter planes supplied by US. 1971 US assistance did no good, since Pakistani politicians had seriously messed up things in East Pakistan. India took advantage and dealt a severe blow to Pakistan. Even today, I see US has always helped Pakistan in the military, economy etc.
India is a different story though. India could have done much better by building trust with Pakistan from the start. Pakistan had no reason to go nuclear until 1974, after which the PM Z.A Bhutto proclaimed we will eat grass but build the bomb. During Kargil 1999 and 2001-2002 border standoff had Pakistan not been a nuclear power, India would have certainly attacked Pakistan. What an expensive arms race.
To cut a long story short, both India and Pakistan are mature enough states now. There is a potential to develop normal neighbourly relations between the teo countries. We need more people on both sides of the border who can think rationally.
Its not really a question whther India screwed Pakistan more or the US. Its about safeguarding the national interest, whenever Pakistan did well in that we benefited. Wherever came the flaws, other countries have taken full advantage.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

I used the name “Liberate Kashmir” though i post from my original name


(Liberate Kashmir)

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Mediation is working in Middle East as Tony Blair has taken the role of mediator between Palestinians and Israel. Just a day before his efforts helped supplies pass through Israel and into Gaza for the besieged city. Former Finnish President Maarti Ahtisari is another name who has been a good mediator.
Now any amount of mediation efforts will only work in Indo-Pak scenario where both sides are free, open and willing to break with the past and look towards a future.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Dear Umair,

This example of Mediation by Tony Blair has no effect, just by sending supplies across the Border is working for both Palestine and Israel is a mere consoling of Ur own mind. Boss there is no end to the deaths which are taking place there Earlier it was the US government now its Tony Blair…..if u dnt agree to that then get ur facts cleared. If it would have really worked then so many loss of lives could have been prevented… Moreover if u consider only supplies across the borders to be a sign of easing tension then India has long back declared Pakistan as MFN(Most Favoured Nation) and a trade of around $613 million takes place annually…now do u need a tony blair or obama to mediate coz SUPPLIES ARE ALREADY HAPPENING….. also wen u urself say that any amount of mediation efforts will only work in Indo-Pak scenario where both sides are free, open and willing to break with the past and look towards a future, then why need a mediator…if both both the sides are free, open and willing to break with the past then no need of a mediator we can talk ourselves…the way i am doing with u now…. :)

Posted by Neo-The One | Report as abusive

I appreciate you talking to me. But there is no point if we end up all talk and no substance. Pakistani diplomat Mr. Durrani was in India recently. Both Pakistan and India are 61 years old mature nuclear powers. In the bilateral framework even the smallest issues like little dams here and there, border opening, airspace authorization for commercial aircraft, echange of prisoners, limited trade etc could not be worked out. A big dispute like Kashmir will be settled? You tell me ?
Anyways, I only wish for prosperous South Asia.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Hi Umair,

Firstly, if you consider the issues like dams, exchange of airspace are small issues then bro i will recommend you to take into account whats happenning in the rest of the world, even the Uncle Sam’s country (USA) is still having problems of water sharing with Mexico over Colorado River, also there have been constant instances of breaching airspace by US in LAtin America(mainly Venezuela and Columbia). Boss these kind of problems will exist and with constant dialogue will solve …just by linking them to the Kashmir issue wont solve any purpose…try to keep it aside from all these issues coz no mediation can be ever be successful in the KAshmir issue. Its the will of the two countries to look into future and move ahead in Life which will make the two neighbours live in peace and Harmony. And for that we dnt need mediators but able leaders frm both the sides to push the dialogue forward.

Posted by Neo-The One | Report as abusive

Hi Umair,
I read your all comments.Now you guys want a dialog with India and maybe business.One thing really confuse me that how a country like Pakistan ended up like this.NOW YOUR COUNTRY IS OUT OF CASH.THE PROBLEM OF TALIBANIZATION IS ever incresing.
why ur country always need some support like USA in past now china.
And there is no center of power in Pakistan your new elected president can’t even stop American attacks which are killing Muslim brothers .
I always believe Pakistan is destroyed by the Americans for their own profit.
WE ONLY WANT REMAINING KASHMIR(POK 33 %) you can take the population with you AND THE REMAINING KASHMIR WHICH YOU GUYS SOLD TO YOUR CHINESE BROTHERS don’t worry about that we would get that part back very soon.
proud to be indian.

Posted by replytopakis | Report as abusive

hi replytopakis
i have read all your comments and to be frank your sounding like a old worn out nationalist hindu from the BJP the whole issue of kashmir is the problem india must accept its wrong doings by killing men and women and cold blood and being scared to death about the world finding out thats why these pathetic indians try and cover it up and state that no third party should try and resolve it because they might find mass graves in indian occupied kashmir firstly pakistan is able to feed its people and cloth them unlike india which is reserved for the likes of a few rich pigs like ambani while poor indians starve in dharavi the largest slum in asia india needs to start feeding its children before they get angry and have another anti india protest soon look at IOK this year thousands of protests and india trying to cover up amarnath ring a bell ? how do you expect to tack on pakistan when kashmiris spit on ghandi and indian flags lol kashmir it can never be indias pakistan doesnt need to try and take it kashmiris are spitting all over india

Posted by ReplytoGandians | Report as abusive

Obama is right. I doubt Indian democracy on Kashmir issue.

Posted by rajan | Report as abusive

[…] interesting analysis of this attack, It’s a cricket team that’s attacked. In this incidence -The Paki army has no […]

Posted by Attack on Lankan players in Lahore « NITYIN’s blog | Report as abusive

[…] that Kashmir has been deemphasized by the administration after a public push from the U.S.-India analysts who do not wish to see the issue […]

Posted by Across the Aisle » Chas Freeman and Debating the Tough Foreign Policy Issues | Report as abusive

For 60 years no peace between two countries for sake of Kashmir! Who suffered? Kashmir has lost thousands of lives.Pakistan kept on spending for weapons to make her economy in shamble and her politics unstable! While India prospered.Period.
India does not need any help.

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive

Mr.Rajan here must know that irrespective of change of ruling party,India has same common voice for Kashmir!That’s the democracy.

Posted by gentalman | Report as abusive