US should support Indo-Pak talks: expert
Washington : Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprise visit to Lahore offered “glimmers of hope in the much-troubled” bilateral ties, an American expert has said the US should support the India-Pak peace talks while resisting any temptation to intervene directly.
Richard Fontaine, president of American think-tank Centre for a New American Security, said in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that as Islamabad and New Delhi prepare to launch a formal, comprehensive dialogue in January, the United States should quietly support their efforts.
“Yet the Obama administration should resist any urge to intervene directly in the talks,” Fontaine said, adding that Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will seek general international support, but they do not require an American mediator.
“Washington can be helpful in two ways,” he said, including pressing Pakistan to crack down on Lashkar-e-Taiba and allow trans-shipment of Indian goods through its territory.
“In the meantime, the right American response is one of quiet support. The path ahead is difficult, and if past is prologue, it may end in deadlock. Yet by taking this bold step, the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers may have delivered much-needed good news to their countries and the world.
“Narendra Modi’s surprise Christmas Day visit to Pakistan stunned the world. Photos of the Indian prime minister holding hands in Lahore with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif offered glimmers of hope in the much-troubled relationship between India and Pakistan,” he said.
He went on to add that “another Mumbai-style attack courts catastrophe; at a minimum it would spoil any efforts at a broader peace”.