Don’t worry about growing Indo-US ties, say Pakistani experts

November 8th, 2010 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Islamabad, Nov 8 (IANS) US President Barack Obama’s visit to India and the growing relationship between New Delhi and Washington should not worry Pakistan, experts here said.

Analysts and former diplomats told the Express Tribune that Islamabad should not overreact to Obama’s India visit.

Former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed asked: “Why are we expecting President Obama to visit Pakistan also? Are we part of India.”

“Our concerns should only be confined to the strategic issues. Otherwise, we should not be bothered about who visits India,” he was quoted as saying.

When former diplomat Riaz Khokhar was told that in the past Obama’s predecessors have visited India and Pakistan in the same trip, he responded: “Those were not visits but just stopovers.”

Khokhar said that the fact Obama stopped short of naming Pakistan on 26/11 indicates that he was not willing to toe the India line on the Mumbai attacks. Over 166 people were killed by 10 gunmen from Pakistan who let loose a reign of terror in Mumbai Nov 26-28, 2008.

Khokar went on to say that he doesn’t think Obama’s visit “will bring any dramatic change in the region”.

Experts pointed out that for years the US has been trying to de-link its relations with Pakistan and India.

“President Obama’s visit to India is part of that strategy,” Ishtiaq Ahmed, professor of international relations at the Quaid-e-Azam University, was quoted in the media as saying.

He told the Express Tribune that the Obama administration cannot ignore Pakistan as it tries to better its relation with India.

“In the emerging scenario Pakistan has a major role in the region.”

Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said: “We hope the US president’s visit to India would contribute towards promoting peace and stability in South Asia.”

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