Dr. Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, observed that the incoming Joe Biden administration is unlikely to permit the Kashmir issue to deteriorate the improving relationship between India and USA.
He said, “The incoming Biden administration may be more willing to talk about the Kashmir issue privately but the issue will not be a high priority. There has been very little said by the Biden-Harris camp about the Kashmir. All references made by the Biden-Harris camp have been attempts to garner votes at home before the election rather than concrete promises of action.”
The comments were made at a webinar hosted by the Usanas Foundation. The webinar focused on Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir in 1947 and Lt. General Ata Hasnain, Kashmiri politician Mir Junaid and Professor Amitabh Mattoo were the other eminent speakers.
“The only way that Kashmir is currently seen by the US is as a stability issue, Kashmir has been the spark of multiple wars between India and Pakistan. Kashmir will not be a big priority and the incoming administration will more likely focus on domestic problems such as the ongoing pandemic and socio-economic troubles,” Dr. Kugelman added, emphasizing that Joe Biden “sees India-US relationship above all as a counter-terrorism partnership and countering China is a secondary aspect.”
Dr. Kugelman also predicted that in case of another Pakistan-sponsored terror attack against India like Pulwama, Joe Biden will firmly side with India. The other speakers focused on the brutalities that were committed by Pakistan-backed tribals in Kashmir in 1947.
Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain highlighted the need to emphasise the brutalities that were committed in 1947. Failure to do so has permitted numerous false narratives regarding Kashmir to become engrained, he argued.
Mir Junaid stated, “The main point of interest is not the Accession of Kashmir by India, but the invasion of Kashmir by Pakistan backed tribals.” Professor Mattoo highlighted the manner in which the residents of Kashmir trained themselves in arms to fight the invasion.