WASHINGTON: The United States has said it wants to see the recent improvement in Pakistan-India relations lead to a meaningful dialogue on Kashmir dispute.
The US comments came after Pakistan raised the issue forcefully at the United Nations General Assembly when President Asif Ali Zardari characterised the dispute as a failure of the UN system.
During a media briefing, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: “On the broader issue of Kashmir, as I said, we want to see this economic warming now translate into a better conversation on that issue as well.”
According to analysts, Ms Nuland’s remarks seemed to be similar to those of Islamabad, which has been engaging with New Delhi on trade and economic cooperation but has also been calling for progress on Kashmir and other security-related issues.
Ms Nuland told the briefing that there was no change in Washington’s policy on Kashmir, which was recognised by the UN as a dispute. “With regard to our own policy on Kashmir, it hasn’t changed. “It’s been the same for a very long time,” she said.
Her remarks made it clear that the United States considered Kashmir to be a disputed territory and it wanted Pakistan and India to resolve the issue bilaterally. “We have said for some time that we applaud the progress that India and Pakistan have made in their dialogue, particularly on the economic side. We are encouraged that they’ve taken some concrete steps to normalise trade relations, including the recently-signed agreement on visa liberalisation.
“We want to see this economic warming extend to other areas,” the State Department spokesperson added.—APP