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Why Obama wants better Indo-Pak ties

By Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
July 23, 2008 09:22 IST
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Better diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan are vital for the United States to succeed in its war against Taliban militants in Afghanistan, Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama has said.

"One of the things driven home in the Afghan war is the importance of our diplomatic efforts in Pakistan, which, by the way, may include having a conversation with India. We should see if we can lessen some of the tensions between those two countries," the Illinois senator said after arriving in Jordan on Tuesday after his trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama said the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is making it difficult for US troops to decisively defeat the Taliban as the militants often escape by crossing the border.

"A lot of what drives, it appears, motivations on the Pakistan side of the border, still has to do with their concerns and suspicions about India," he told reporters in Amman.

"If we don't get a handle on that border region, we are going to continue to have problems, and Al Qaida is going to grow -- and their networks are going to be able to continue to project beyond that region," Obama said.

"We haven't had a conversation between the Indians and the Pakistanis that has been sustained and meaningful about how they can arrive at a more sensible arrangement between the two countries. That could relieve some of the pressure and help us go after some of these forces along the border regions," the Democratic senator said.

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Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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