Why Obama is not going to Pakistan

If there is one country which is closely watching US President Barack Obama’s trip to India, and with a twinge of anxiety, it is Pakistan. Islamabad and the country’s military establishment are none too happy with Mr Obama’s standalone visit to India and the promise of closer strategic ties between New Delhi and Washington.
Pakistan, according to some reports, tried hard to lobby with the US administration to get Mr Obama to also include Pakistan in his itinerary, but for all its powerful PR machinery in Washington DC, it could not succeed in its mission of seeking parity with India in the American strategic calculus.
This is, however, no time for gloating or schadenfreude for India, which has been at the receiving end of multiple terror attacks from Pakistan-based militant outfits. In fact, Pakistan should be and will be an important theme of conversation between President Obama and Prime Minister Obama when they sit down for talks in New Delhi on January 25. Prime Minister Modi should ask Mr Obama to use the US’ enormous leverage to get Pakistan to dismantle anti-India terror networks and expedite the prosecution of 26/11 masterminds and perpetrators. India should also reiterate its protest against the US clearing a fresh tranche of aid to Pakistan, which New Delhi suspects could be again diverted for anti-India armoury and activities. But the conversation should go beyond airing the oft-repeated grouse.

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