US reiterates its stand on Kashmir, stays out of it

RSTV Bureau

India n PakistanOnce again, in an apparent snub to Pakistan, the US has asked the country to sort out the Kashmir issue with India. The US reiterated its stand once again, saying that it will not interfere in the matter.

The US has no role to play in the Kashmir issue and it is for India and Pakistan to address the problem through dialogue, the US said on Thursday. US’ statement comes a day after Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif raised the Kashmir matter with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Expressing concern over violence at the Line of Control, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said both India and Pakistan should resume dialogue to address the outstanding issues.

“As for Kashmir, all I would say is we continue to be concerned about any violence along the line of control, and we continue to urge the governments of both India and Pakistan to reduce tensions along that line and to resume dialogue to address these issues,” Kirby told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

“This (Kashmir) is for the two parties to work out,” Kirby said in response to a question.

Sharif raised the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Kerry which was primarily focused on security-related issues and Afghanistan peace talks. The meeting took place at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on Wednesday.

“What I can tell you is that he met yesterday with Chief of Army Staff Sharif to follow up on some of the security-related conversations that he had with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in October,” Kirby said.

“The general’s consultations in Washington were part of our regular, ongoing, bilateral discussions with a broad range of Pakistani officials, and we appreciate the productive discussions we had regarding our bilateral defense and security relationship,” he said.

Meanwhile, back in India, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah said that India should continue to find a solution to resolve the Kashmir issue, even though the US has distanced itself from it.

“The absence of 3rd party intervention doesn’t absolve India of its responsibility to find a solution…,” Omar tweeted while referring to US State Department’s statement on the issue.

Omar also hit out at Pakistan, saying the country was pushing the US to change its stand on the issue by repeatedly asking it to intervene in the matter.

“For some reason Pakistan thinks that if it asks often enough, the answer from the US will somehow change!!!” Omar said.

(With inputs from PTI)