Pakistan once again sought US intervention in settling the Kashmir dispute on Monday, complaining that India was hesitant whenever it wanted to talk on the vexed issue.
Speaking to Pakistani journalists after holding a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Hague, on the sidelines of a two-day nuclear summit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the Kashmir issue should be resolved.
He said that India hesitated every time Pakistan approached it for talks on Kashmir. “We have said somebody else can also help us in resolving the issue. But India is also not in agreement on that. So how can talks proceed? How can such issues be solved? I said this is for the US also to think. When you tell us that normal relations should be there, we understand that but your role comes in also.
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“If we cannot solve an issue with India bilaterally, a third power should be there to play a role in moving the dialogue forward,” Sharif said.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has sought US intervention in solving the Kashmir issue. Ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama in October last year, Sharif had sought US intervention to settle the Kashmir issue. However, a senior US official had then said, “On Kashmir, our policy has not changed an iota”.
In India, the government and political parties had condemned Sharif’s comment in one voice.External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had said, “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India – there is no question of anybody interfering with this idea. The US knows
this very well”.
Even though Pakistan is keen that the US intervenes, Washington has repeatedly said it is for India and Pakistan to determine the “pace, scope and character” of their cross-border dialogue.
The Pakistan Prime Minister is accompanied on the trip by his Special Assistant Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.