Islamabad, Nov 17 : Experts on US policy vis- -vis South Asia feel that the new Barack Obama administration's key policy with regard to situation in South Asia would be to 'convincingly' secure Pakistan's meaningful co-operation in anti-terror efforts, instead of pushing it, as done by the present Bush administration.
"Pakistan is the most dangerous country in today's world," the Globe and Mail quoted Obama's chief adviser on South Asia and former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, as saying.
"Convincing Pakistan will be the key, not brow-beating them, or pushing them. I think that will be the big change between the Bush-Cheney approach and the Obama-Biden approach," said Shuja Nawaz, an independent expert on the Pakistani military based in Washington, according to the paper.
The paper further said that a radical change in US' policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan may be in store, given Barack Obama's inclination to mediate in Pakistan's bitter dispute with India over Kashmir and pressure on him to reassess support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"Clearly the only solution to Afghanistan now is a regional solution. The key to peace in Afghanistan is Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban leadership is living in Pakistan. The reasons for that happening is related to [the Pakistani] military's views on India," said Ahmed Rashid, author of Descent into Chaos, a recent book on US' failures in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rashid has been consulted by Obama's team.
In a far-reaching departure from George W. Bush and several preceding American presidents, Obama has indicated that he will seek to put US muscle behind mediating Pakistan's disputes with its giant neighbour India, which have corrupted Islamabad's role in global anti-terrorism efforts, said the report.
It said: "Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists have found sanctuary in parts of western Pakistan, but Islamabad is not willing to take on some of these Islamic militant groups, which have been useful in fighting proxy wars with India in the disputed region of Kashmir and in Afghanistan, where the government of Karzai is perceived to be close to Delhi. If Pakistan no longer feels it needs to keep some extremist groups in reserve to counter Indian influence, it's hoped the U.S. will secure meaningful co-operation from Pakistan in anti-terror efforts."
In interviews just before the US election, Obama had indicated his administration would "try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they [Pakistan] can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants."