WASHINGTON: The US has strategic interests in normalising relations between India and Pakistan, but New Delhi must realise that Washington cannot remain silent on human rights violations in the disputed Kashmir region, according to a US think tank report released on Tuesday.
Titled “Toward Realistic US-India Relations”, the report by Carnegie Endowment for the International Peace, favours a criteria-based civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan over time, saying such a move, engaging China, Pakistan and Nuclear Suppliers Group, would help make amends for damage done to the non-proliferation efforts by US-India nuclear deal.
“Indian leaders must also do more to correct the misgovernance and human rights abuses that are remobilising Muslims in the Kashmir Valley,” the report said. “The United States has legitimate strategic interests in urging both India and Pakistan to explore all prospects for normalising Indo-Pak relations and reducing the threat of violent extremism in South Asia and elsewhere,” the report stressed, as US President Barack Obama prepares to visit New Delhi from November 6.
The report opined, “Indians may reasonably expect the US to heed their demand not to try to mediate the Kashmir issue with Pakistan,” but makes it clear that “they (Delhi) should not expect it (US) to stay silent about large-scale Indian human rights violations or other policies that undermine conflict resolution there”.
“Kashmir is a challenge that the US can neither avoid nor resolve,” it reads in view of importance of the lingering conflict to South Asian peace and Indian aversion to overt US involvement towards its resolution. With regard to US-Pakistan relations, the report advises India to accept the reality of long-term relations between them.