International Affairs

India warns Obama on intervening in Kashmir

NEW DELHI: India has warned US President Barack Obama that he is “barking up the wrong tree” if he tries to broker a deal between Pakistan and India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. MK Narayanan, India’s national security adviser, said the new US president was in danger of dredging up outdated Clinton-era strategies in an effort to improve ties between the nuclear armed neighbours.

“I do think that we could make President Obama understand, if he does nurse any such view, that he is barking up the wrong tree. I think Kashmir today has become one of the quieter and safer places in this part of the world,” Mr Narayanan said in an interview with CNBC TV18. “It’s possible that at this time there are elements, -perhaps in the administration who are harking back to the pre-2000 era.”

The warning came as Richard Holbrooke, Mr Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, prepared to visit the region for the first time in his new capacity. Mr Narayanan is close to Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, and Sonia Gandhi, the president of the ruling Congress party.

“References made by President Obama, which seem to suggest that there is some kind of link with settlement on Pakistan’s western border and the Kashmir issue certainly have caused concern,” said Mr Narayanan. But he said the new US administration and India had yet to have direct contact over the issue.-SANA

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Noreen Gill

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