Obama Vows Support for Pakistan


Washington, DC: Senator Barack Obama has pledged support for Pakistan’s democratic government through a combination of US socio-economic and security assistance.
“Now you have got a fledgling democratic government. We have to support their efforts to democratize,” the Senator told CNN in an interview on Friday.
“That means, by the way, not just providing military aid. It means, also, helping them to provide, you know, concrete solutions to poverty and lack of education that exists in Pakistan. So, I want to increase non-military aid to Pakistan,” Obama added ahead of the November 4 elections.
Obama said he was concerned about Pakistan’s stability in view of Al Qaeda going after the new leadership, and criticized the US support for former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf in previous years.
“Well, I’m concerned about it. This was one of the problems with our previous strategy. There was a lot of resentment that built up as a consequence of our support of [former] president Musharraf there, who had squelched democracy.”
Obama, who faced a lot of criticism for his statements suggesting US troops cross Pakistani borders from Afghanistan in pursuit of the top Al Qaeda leadership if the Pakistanis were unwilling or unable to chase top militants, appeared to have toned down his campaign rhetoric.

KASHMIR: In an  interview with Rachel Meadow of MSNBC on Thursday Senator Obama said: “We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis.”
On September 25, in an interview to the journal ‘Arms Control Today’ Obama said, “I will continue support of ongoing Indian-Pakistani efforts to resolve Kashmir problem in order to address the political roots of the arms race between India and Pakistan.”
Commenting on Obama’s two statements, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, head of the Kashmiri-American Council said what the senator had stated was in full conformity with previous statements made by US leaders and representatives. As early as 1962, President John F Kennedy requested the President of Ireland to sponsor a resolution on Kashmir in the UN Security Council, reaffirming the resolutions of the UN Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP), while secretary of state John Foster Dulles said on February 5, 1957, “We continue to believe that unless the parties are able to agree upon some other solution, the solution which was recommended by the Security Council should prevail, which is that there should be a plebiscite.”




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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