That Kashmir is not a part of Afpak strategy as it has come out of the statements of President Obama's aides reflects that the regional scenario has not been fully comprehended while doing the so-called comprehensive review of US policy. National Security Adviser General James Jones' observation on Friday that Kashmir was a separate issue and that he did not intend to get involved in that makes a counterproductive start to Washington's strategy to build 'trust and confidence' between India and Pakistan. Indo-Pakistan equation forms an important component in the region's stability and the successful prosecution of the US war on terror in Afghanistan. It is hard to conceive a scenario helpful to US objectives without the resolution of the core issue of Kashmir. The threat perception that the unresolved issue creates poses the danger of confrontation between the two nuclear-armed countries, which have more than once come to the edge of the precipice. India's forcible occupation of the Valley could not possibly create a climate of trust in Pakistan. If the American regional policy stipulates a cooperative exercise of Islamabad and New Delhi, which is also constantly conspiring against Pakistan in Afghanistan, they would prove odd partners unless the issue that lies at the root of their tension was resolved. To expect Pakistan not to concern itself with its eastern border while Kashmir issue is alive and human tragedy continues to be played there is asking for too much. Washington must realise that it is not merely a dispute between the two countries, it is also the question of democratic rights of the people who had been promised their future according to their aspirations expressed through a UN-sponsored free and fair plebiscite. Neglecting the brutalities they suffer at the hands India's occupation forces would also go against the US proclamations of a champion of human rights. It appeared that during his electoral campaign, Mr Obama visualised the Subcontinent's situation correctly when he highlighted the importance of Kashmir as a central dispute between India and Pakistan and his emphasis on its resolution. There had also been talk of appointing a special envoy and the assignment was expected to go to former President Clinton and then India was excluded from Mr Holbrooke's mandate. Mr Holbrooke now is US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan only. But the Obama administration's U-turn, obviously under pressure from India, is bound to cause widespread disappointment and prove a formidable stumbling block to its objective in the region. As the US considers Pakistan's commitment crucial to success against terrorism, one should expect it to review its stand on the dispute state.