Much awaited “ K” word was uttered by the US president Mr. Barack Obama in New Delhi but the word was uttered with the same preface and epilogue as was done by his predecessors. It has been the stated position of the United States that it would play a role in the manner in which the two countries would want it to , which in the concrete diplomatic terms means facilitation through back channel diplomacy. The US already has been doing so. There is nothing new in what Mr. Obama said and now it needs to be understood by all those who have been clamouring for the US intervention or facilitation in resolving the decades-old Kashmir issue that Washington cannot, and will not step beyond the red line that stands defined after what India has attained since the opening of its economy in 1989. An attempt was made in early 1990s by some of the officials of the state department and by the then U S ambassador to India Frank Wisner to change the discourse on Kashmir by referring to settlement of Kashmir issue as per “aspirations of the people of Kashmir”, but that part is now out of the American lexicon.
Today’s language is that the United States cannot “impose a solution on Kashmir.” When he said this, it has to be seen in the context as to who all were demanding its attention and intervention or for that matter facilitation in resolving the Kashmir issue. "I believe both Pakistan and India have an interest in reducing tensions between the two countries.”
"Given that India is not simply an emerging power but now it is a world power, US and India can work together to promote international principles, rules, relations between nations they can promote peace, stability, prosperity not only for just two nations but for the whole world.”
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh , who reiterated today at a joint press conference with Mr. Obama that “ India is not afraid of K word but wanted Pakistan to dismantle its terror machine” drew this position from the position of his country in the world. Prime Minister underlined the fact that India is neither seeking the help nor facilitation, leave alone mediation in settling the Kashmir issue. But, it is also critically important that Prime Minister should not only be talking in reference to Pakistan while talking of Kashmir. There has been a problem within the Valley, which had grabbed the national headlines when the people were getting killed in streets of Kashmir. There were several fire fighting measures, convening of all- party meetings, all- party delegation leaving for Srinagar for an on the spot study of Kashmir situation, announcement of eight point formula, appointment of interlocutors and so on. Now, there is a deafening silence over the whole issue.
On the other hand, the United States that is desperate to sign deals with India to secure 50,000 jobs and looks for its cooperation in Afghanistan in its war against terror and uses the diction of “ havens of terror” and echoes on the “ growing extremism in Pakistan” has very limited options. Mr. Obama has shown all the limitations of the United States where economy is not stablising despite the bail out plans, and where President and his party are becoming deeply unpopular. The mid-term election results have shown how Democrats were on decline. It is not America of 2oth century that can dictate terms to the nations or can attack any country without respecting borders. It is the United States which is depending on others to survive economically and its military might is in the realm of being challenged, not just by the nations like China or Russia, but also by the non-state actors in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan.
In a way it is good for Kashmir and its leadership. It presents a realistic view that the United States is having about Kashmir. It cannot annoy Pakistan and it cannot annoy India. So better it is that if the leaders of the state on both sides of the Line of Control draw up an indigenous roadmap to bring peace and order to the troubled state with a just and fair roadmap.