Kashmir needs third party intervention, US most relevant: Nawaz

October 22, 2015

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Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif with Senator Bob Croker (1st Left) Chairman and other members of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. —Photo Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif with Senator Bob Croker (1st Left) Chairman and other members of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. —Photo Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his delegation chat with members of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. —Photo Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his delegation chat with members of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. —Photo Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office

WASHINGTON: The United States would be the most relevant third party that could intervene to help resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told US senators.

Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker along with Ranking Member Senator Ben Cardin received the prime minister and his delegation at the Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon — the second day of his visit to Washington, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

The premier briefed the meeting — which was attended by several senior members of the committee — about his recent peace initiative towards India announced in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.

Members of Senate noted the prime minister's proposal that given India’s resistance to bilaterally resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir, it would be imperative to have third party intervention for which the US would be most relevant, said the handout.

On the same day, Pakistan handed over three dossiers to US Secretary of State John Kerry on India’s involvement in subversive activities in the country.

Outlining his vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, Nawaz reiterated his government's commitment to remain engaged with the Afghan leadership to enhance mutual coordination in dealing with the common challenges of terrorism and promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The prime minister was flanked at the meeting by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaz Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Ambassador of Pakistan to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Thanking the Senate committee for their consistent support to democracy, security cooperation and economic development in Pakistan, Nawaz briefed the members about his economic reforms agenda that led to reviving the economy and upgrading Pakistan's economic outlook in recent months, the statement said.

The prime minister also briefed members on the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Temporarily Dislocated Persons (TDPs) back in their homes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) following the clearing of areas by successful military operations.

Appreciating the provision of counter-terrorism assistance by the US Congress, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that due to the successful operations of Pakistani security forces, militants' command and control infrastructure in Pakistan had been destroyed and the ability of militants to plan or conduct any major attack had been significantly diminished.

Responding to questions by members of the US Congress, the premier remarked that Zarb-i-Azb had achieved its initial targets and entered a decisive phase.

Also read: Ground offensive in Shawal; Zarb-i-Azb enters final phase

Members of the US Congress emphasised that Pakistan was an important country in the region and the US looked forward to engaging with Pakistan to advance the goals of regional peace and stability.

The senators also assured Nawaz of continued support by the US Congress in complimenting Pakistan's efforts to stimulate people-centred growth and eliminating militancy and extremism from the region.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is among the important standing committees of the US Congress with the mandate to oversee US foreign policy.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Washington on Tuesday for an official four-day visit. During the visit, the prime minister will hold discussions on wide-ranging issues of bilateral interest with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and various Cabinet members.