Obama associate Kerry to discuss S. Asia policy options with Pak

December 13th, 2008 - 12:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Dec.13 (ANI): A close associate of US President-elect Barack Obama, Senator John Kerry, will soon visit Pakistan to discuss anti-terrorism strategies.
Senator Kerry will also visit India and Afghanistan, the Dawn reports.
Kerry is due to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next month.
Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Obama, said the president-elect will be very interested to hear about the trip from Senator Kerry, whose insight he values greatly.
Diplomatic observers in Washington said the trip coincides with the Obama teams efforts to formulate a comprehensive strategy for South Asia before he takes oath on January 20.
Obama has referred to South Asia as the first front in the war against terror and promised to formulate a new strategy to win this front.
While the Obama team is busy sounding out experts on its policy for the region, the Pentagon is preparing its own report.
US CENTCOM chief David Petraeus is expected to submit the report to the Pentagon and to Obama before his inauguration.
The Pentagon may propose, and Obama may accept, to send at least 20,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
In a recent policy paper, Obamas top South Asia adviser, Bruce Riedel, has advocated normalising relations between India and Pakistan as a prerequisite for bringing peace to Afghanistan.
He also emphasizes the need to resolve the Kashmir dispute, arguing that this will free the Pakistani military to focus on the fight against Al Qaeda and Taliban.
Media reports that the incoming Obama administration regards South Asia as a priority zone. (ANI)

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