US may ask Pak for concessions on Indo-Afghan trade issue during trilateral talks

May 5th, 2009 - 2:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Islamabad, May 5 (ANI): The forthcoming trilateral talks between the US President Barack Obama and his Pakistan and Afghanistan counterparts may see the United States mounting pressure on Islamabad to allow India extend its business ties with Afghanistan through the Wagah border.

“The US, which is eying a dominant role for India in the region, wants Pakistan to provide overland trade route for Indian exports to Afghanistan,” the Dawn quoted a diplomatic source, as saying.

Sources said the Obama Administration may also ask Pakistan to shift its focus from the eastern Indian border and redeploy much of its 250, 000 troops to the western border along Afghanistan to check the Taliban and Al-Qaeda spillover.

Off late, Washington has made it clear to Islamabad that its ‘obsession’ with India as a mortal threat is misguided.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already clarified that the trilateral summit would see discussions on specific topics which America believes are of more important than some other issues.

“We’ll have some very intense sessions on the specifics of what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s a very difficult environment because of the confusion among the civilian and military leadership’ about how to prioritise what is the greatest threat to Pakistan,” Clinton had said.

However, it is believed that Pakistan is also prepared to take on the issue with the United States and would stand firm on its stance.

“It is very significant for Pakistan. Traditionally it was our bargaining chip for the Indians to move on Kashmir. Now they want us to do something without any movement, and are browbeating us,” a Pakistan official said.

India and Afghanistan have been urging Pakistan to provide a free passage to the traders through the Wagah border since 2003-0, but Islamabad has been continuously rejecting the demands. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |