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Great expectations?

Great expectations?
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First Published: Mon, Jan 19 2009. 11 32 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Jan 19 2009. 11 32 PM IST
New Delhi: With just over 24 hours left for Barack Obama to take oath as the 44th US President, expectations are high among not just Americans but people across the world. People are waiting to see how the first African American US president handles the delicate political and terror situations in South Asia.
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India is hoping that the change of administration in the US would also mean a stronger stance on the terror outfits in Pakistan. Hindustan Times foreign affairs editor Amit Baruah says India has taken heart from Obama’s comments made after the Mumbai terror attacks that the US would not hesitate even to bomb terror outfits in Pakistan.
“If Obama pushes for a quick resolution of the Kashmir issue, it may be a problem for India,” says Baruah. Although Obama’s biggest challenge will be to get the US back into a stable financial form, his stand on reducing foreign workers in the US may prove to be a small glitch for Indo-US relations, he says.
Pakistan on the other hand is hoping for a clearer road map for the future of US-Pakistan relations. ”Pakistan will be hoping for more understanding on its dealing with the country’s internal terror outfits,” says Kamal Siddiqi, the editor of The News, a Pakistani newspaper based in Karachi. Siddiqi also says it is hoping for more financial and social aid from Pakistan. It also expects the Obama administration to push for democratic reforms in the country.
Nepal, a country that heavily relies on financial aid from the US, hopes the liberal democrats would have a soft spot for the developing nation. Although Nepal has a Maoist government and the out going Bush administration had put Maoists on the list of terrorists, the Nepalese government hopes this would soon change. ”Nepal expects that under the Obama administration the process of lifting the Maoists from the terror list will accelerate, ” says Kanak Mani Dixit, the editor of Himal Southasian, a magazine in Nepal.
Most South Asian journalists agree the world is looking towards Obama to provide a healing touch and set the many’ wrongs’ of the past administration ’right.’
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First Published: Mon, Jan 19 2009. 11 32 PM IST