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Memo to Obama: Avert Indo-Pak confrontation
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January 06, 2009 09:10 IST

With escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the terror attack on Mumbai [Images], a leading United States-based public policy organisation has asked President-elect Barack Obama [Images] to persuade the two countries to avoid military confrontation.

"With current tensions between India and Pakistan threatening to escalate into a direct military confrontation, the world is looking to you for leadership in reversing dangerous trends and building a security framework in a vital region," said the Brookings Institute in a memo authored by fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown. She is a security studies professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

In the run up to the January 20 inauguration, Brookings has released several memos for Obama on issues of national and international significance.

"Most urgently, it is critical that your administration urge the two countries to avoid a military confrontation. Beyond the immediate crisis, you need a broader framework for the region that recognizes long-standing difficult issues, such as Kashmir," she said.

"As a first step, your inaugural address might outline your overall strategy toward South Asia. Americans and leaders across the globe will be listening carefully," she suggested.

"Thousands of Pakistani troops now shifting towards the Indian border signals the building of crisis between India and Pakistan two nuclear-armed countries. Jihadist terrorism is a serious threat, further fueling these tensions," she wrote.

"However tragic and destabilising, the Mumbai attacks have injected an important sense of urgency into regional deliberations, by showing that terrorism in any form cannot be tolerated and that a platform for multilateral engagement must be constructed," the memo said.

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