Obama will avoid 'K' word during India visit: WSJ

WASHINGTON - So scared is President Barack Obama of Indian leaderships strong reaction that he will not even utter the K-word - Kashmir - during his next weeks three-day visit to India, according to a US media report Friday. If the topic does come up, Obama will likely follow the same tack taken by his advisors earlier this week in a briefing with reporters, The Wall Street Journal said in a report as the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir again took a turn for the worse following October 27 demonstration in connection with Black Day. Here is line taken by his advisors: When asked, Will the President talk publicly or privately about Kashmir and the tensions between India and Pakistan? Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, replied: The President believes that the US relationship with India and the US relationship with Pakistan do not take place within any kind of zero-sum dynamic. Its often been viewed that way in the past, that if we become closer to one its at the expense of the other. And weve tried to send the signal that its the opposite with this administration; that, in fact, actually you see that borne out in the fact that we had a very successful Strategic Dialogue here, with the Pakistanis in town last week, discussing greater security cooperation in governance and economic issues. And as a part of that, the President met with the Pakistani delegation and ended up speaking to President (Asif Ali) Zardari yesterday to discuss that Strategic Dialogue and said that hed very much like to visit Pakistan next year and is planning to visit Pakistan next year. The Journal pointed out that of the almost 150 words Rhodes spoke, not one of them is Kashmir. William Burns, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, added his own non-Kashmir response, the newspaper further pointed out. We have always welcomed dialogue between India and Pakistan and certainly encouraged efforts to improve relations between those two very important countries. Obviously, the pace, scope and character of that dialogue is something that Indians and Pakistanis have to shape. But well continue to both welcome and encourage it, Burns said. The Journal said, White House reporters being an intrepid bunch, another questioner brought up the topic again, using the K-word specifically. Just to follow Stevens (a correspondent) question on Kashmir. Will the President be making some public remarks explaining the US position on Kashmir? And will he also be addressing - explaining the US relationship with Pakistan publicly? This time Rhodes was even more eloquent, going for a full 286 words, not a single one of them Kashmir, the Journal sarcastically remarked.

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