Need to involve Pakistan Army in resolving Indo-Pak dispute: Schaffer

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (ANI): Former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Teresita Schaffer has expressed the need to involve the Pakistan Army in resolving the country's dispute with India.

Participating in a discussion, Schaffer said she, however, did not foresee any breakthrough in India-Pakistan relations in the near future, as "Islamabad is weak and India is going to general elections."

Schaffer suggested the Pakistan Army would have to be taken along in some fashion to solve India-Pakistan disputes because one of the disadvantages of the civilian government in Pakistan was that its army is a separate actor.

"It is a big political challenge," she said, initiating a roundtable discussion entitled "India and US: What Lies Ahead" at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

Schaffer, now the programme director for South Asia at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said policymakers in the US saw India-Pakistan disputes as the world's biggest unresolved issues, and Kashmir as part of the problem.

The Daily Times quoted her as saying that managing Pakistan will be one of the challenges for the new Obama Administration.

Schaffer said the US government would be "very supportive" in solving the problems between India and Pakistan, and "if nothing happens, it will be nervous about it".

Stating that the new US Administration was taking relations with India very seriously, and New Delhi could expect a more open policy, Schaffer said President Obama would bring new dynamics at the United Nations.

The official said she believed the negative US attitude would not continue forever, but did not foresee "dramatic changes" in the short term.

She said the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) had agreed to consult India over the export guidelines, and hoped for "some kind of a new set of arrangements".

Schaffer suggested that the US should develop "techniques and vocabularies to deal with India's strategic autonomy and its wariness about getting too close to the US in policy terms". (ANI)

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