In a rebuff to Pakistan’s efforts to drag America in the Kashmir tangle, the United States on Saturday made its neutral position clear on the issue by urging the two South Asian neighbours to resolve the issue through bilateral dialogue.
Addressing the media, U.S. Assistant Secretary Philip J Crowley said that Kashmir was an issue that the U.S. believed needed to be resolved between Pakistan and India bilaterally.
“It is an issue that does come up in time to time in our bilateral discussions with Pakistan, but there is no working group on Kashmir,” he said.
Crowley added, “We believe that this is ultimately an issue that has to be resolved between India and Pakistan.”
He said that this was America’s stand despite its “great concern” about the situation in Kashmir and that the nation talked to both the Indian and Pakistani sides about the issue on a regular basis and encouraged them to resolve the conflict through dialogue.
Also, referring to the five-year military aid for Pakistan announced by the U.S. on Friday that is not being seen as the smoothest move right ahead of President Obama’s visit to India in November, Crowley said that he did not see the aid coming in between their relations.
Saying that it wasn’t a zero-sum proposition, he said: “Our assistance to Pakistan does not come at the expense of India, and our relationship with India does not come at the expense of Pakistan.”
Washington on Friday had announced a 2.29 billion USD aid for Pakistan which had once again brought into focus India’s continued concerns over the aid’s misuse against it, a fear that was only reinforced by the classified documents leaked by WikiLeaks in July this year.