Osama killing may not derail India-Pakistan dialogue: US experts

But the circumstances of bin Laden's death could affect the course of relations between Pakistan and its historic rival India, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report prepared for members of US Congress.

The report "Osama bin Laden's Death: Implications and Considerations" noted India's foreign and home ministers both took the opportunity to focus on the new evidence that terrorists find sanctuary in Pakistan, and concerns were raised that reprisal attacks could come in Indian Kashmir.

"Still, most analysts do not foresee the development as derailing New Delhi's recent decision to reengage a robust peace dialogue with Pakistan, even if such dialogue is made more complicated by May 2's events," the report said.

At the same time, however, there may be some apprehension in New Delhi that the development could hasten a US withdrawal from Afghanistan in ways that could be harmful to India's foreign policy interests, it said.

India, the report suggested, is averse to seeing a Kabul government too friendly with Islamabad in the future and has a keen interest in precluding the resurgence of Islamist extremist groups in Afghanistan, which it fears could be the case if the Pakistani military has excessive influence on the anti-Taliban campaign's endgame.

New Delhi also sees the discovery of bin Laden in Pakistan as an opportunity to more energetically press its demands that Islamabad extradite the alleged perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, Lashkar-e-Taiba figures believed to be in Pakistan, as well as other most-wanted anti-India terrorists such as Dawood Ibrahim, it said.

On near and long-term security and foreign policy implications for the US, some experts consider bin Laden's death to be a largely symbolic event, while others believe it marks a significant achievement in US counterterrorism efforts.

Those suggesting that his death lacks great significance argue that US and allied actions had eroded bin Laden's ability to provide direction and support to Al Qaeda, the report said.

Those suggesting that his death is a major turning point in US counterterrorism efforts contend that that bin Laden remained an active participant in setting a direction for the strategy and operations of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, it said.

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