President Barack Obama's call for easing the tension prevailing between India and Pakistan must be appreciated, though he is only looking at the situation from the US perspective of attaining certain goals in the Afghan arena and beyond in the region. The Wall Street Journal has reported that he has issued a secret directive to the concerned administration officials to work for achieving detente between the two countries, so as to win Pakistan's cooperation in Afghanistan. Arguably, some American officials understand that unless India cedes ground on issues that are not only crucial to peace in the subcontinent but on which Pakistan's stand is also morally justified, there could be no understanding between the two. Besides, as one of them put it, Islamabad would remain reluctant to wholeheartedly come forward to fight the militants troubling the US, unless 'the sense of threat from India is reduced'. However, the fact remains that the efforts the Obama Administration has so far mounted to create a climate of trust between them have been too reluctant and timid to inspire the hope that they could bear fruit. The WSJ quotes sources as saying that "few concrete demands" have been made on India except to discourage it from getting more involved in training the Afghan military. This feeling of inadequate realisation of Islamabad's concerns gets reinforced when the clash of views in the different policy-making organs of the US on this question is put in the equation. It seems, though, that Admiral Mullen has better appreciation of Pakistan's strategic importance, as he feels India should cooperate with Pakistan, than Secretary Clinton who resists the move to pressurise it. Had Obama not retreated from his courageous stance of pre-White House days to help settle the Kashmir dispute and kept up his resolve to pursue it, some headway might, perhaps, have been made in the past one year that he has been in office. Kashmir, he had rightly viewed, was at the root of Indo-Pakistan strained relations. The water scarcity in Pakistan, now assuming dangerous proportions, stems from the same source. President Obama needs to shake off the lobbyists' pressure about not viewing India's adamant position on Kashmir as of much strategic significance to the US, and reassert his earlier thinking about the need for peace in the subcontinent. If the Americans are sincere in assurances of developing deep and abiding friendly ties with Pakistan, they have to make sure that its genuine grievances are addressed. Kashmir has another dimension as well: the democratic aspirations of its people smarting under the Indian yoke. Washington is under a moral obligation to see that New Delhi honours its pledges of letting them decide about their future through a plebiscite held under UN auspices.