Obama might appoint Bill Clinton as special envoy on Kashmir
NEW YORK - US President-Elect Barack Obama might consider appointing former President Bill Clinton as special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir in an effort resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, according to media reports.
Obama indicated his intention to make such a move in a recent interview with Joe Klein of 'Time' magazine ahead of his election as president. He told the weekly magazine that he has sounded out Clinton, who has had first-hand experience dealing with the Subcontinent, having played a role in ending the Kargil issue in the summer of 1999.
When asked specifically about Clinton playing a role in redefining Pakistan's relations with India, Obama was quoted as saying, "Might not be bad. I actually talked to Bill, I talked to President Clinton about this when we had lunch" at Harlem in New York recently.
In the interview, he also wondered why India wants to 'keep on messing' with the Kashmir issue which is a 'potential tar pit diplomatically'.
Working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir "crisis in a serious way are critical tasks" for the next administration, he said.
And in a television interview last Friday, Obama also said the United States should help resolve the Kashmir dispute as part of efforts to deal with the problem of militancy in the region.
"We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants." he
Pakistan has all along welcomed international mediation to resolve the Kashmir dispute which has caused so much suffering to the people of theb state. But India has always opposed such a move, insisting that Kashmir was an integral part of India.