Obama Brings New Leadership At White House For South Asia

Monday, 30 March 2015, 10:02 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has roped in a well-known defence expert to head the South Asia desk at the National Security Council as his government wants to be India's best partner, withdraw troops from Afghanistan and wean away Pakistan from its policy of backing non-State actors.

Peter Lavoy, who earlier served in various key positions in Pentagon and intelligence agencies on South Asia, has been appointed to serve as Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

In his new role, Lavoy will advise the President and National Security Advisor Susan Rice on national security and foreign policy matters related to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives and coordinate US policies toward South Asia across the departments and agencies of the US Government.

Along with Lavoy, the White House has also appointed Joshua T White from the Stimson Center - a Washington-based think-tank - as Senior Advisor and Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

The White House did not respond to questions on when Lavoy and White would formally start their work.

Lavoy previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and before that as Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, and National Intelligence Officer for South Asia.
"It has been a tremendous honor to work with Michael and the entire Stimson team," said White.

"I consider it a privilege to take up these issues at the NSC at a time when US engagement in South Asia is as important as it has ever been," he said in a statement.
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Source: PTI

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