"Obama will not meddle into K-issue as it may affect smooth Indo-US ties"

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Washington, Nov 14 : After assuming the White House on January 20, US President-elect Barack Obama will not like to intervene in Kashmir issue, as it might affect his country's relationship with India, which the successfully completed Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement has enhanced further. He won't take any steps in this direction also because India has already said that it considered Kashmir a bilateral matter and will not accept any third party intervention, said a leading French scholar on South Asia Jean-Luc Racine in a presentation on Pakistan and the challenges facing President Asif Ali Zardari in a university.

He said that in case the US decides to use its influence with the intention of resolving the Kashmir issue, "it was unlikely to work". "Nor is Barack Obama expected to make India-Pakistan rapprochement one of his priorities," the Daily Times quoted Racine as saying.

Prof. Racine said that Kashmir was not the key issue for India and Pakistan for the present, nor is it the time to revive it.

Prof. Racine said President Zardari faced many challenges, both economic and political, at home and abroad. "If he is perceived to have failed, it is hard to predict what the Pakistan Army will do. It is also possible that some section of Pakistani intelligence may be tempted to revive the Kashmir issue through cross-border activities. However, it seems India-Pakistan relations will continue to improve," he added.

Praising former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf's role regarding Kashmir issue, he said that he should be credited with having brought about Indo-Pakistan "connectivity".

According to him, China has also been advising Pakistan "not to pour oil over the fire in Kashmir". "China remains Pakistan's close friend and it believes, as do other neighbours, that Pakistan's stability is good for the region and all countries of the region, including India," he added in his presentation.

The French academic also said at the time he took over a few months ago, Zardari found the security situation out of control. "Pakistani Taliban have expanded their influence and gained in strength. There is a serious sectarian rift in the Kurram Agency and Swat has been under the sway of religious militants," he added.

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