Friday, October 25, 2013

Undaunted Sharif still favours US role in Kashmir

LONDON, OCTOBER 25, 2013 |

Returning home from his US visit, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has again sought to rake up the Kashmir issue reiterating that though India does not want any US role in a resolution to the vexed issue, Pakistan does favour the US playing such a role.

\"I have read and heard the Indian foreign minister\'s reaction to my earlier statement. We should talk to each other, and this would be a very good thing,\" the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted him as telling reporters in London soon after his arrival here from Washington Thursday.

\"But if bilateral negotiations do not succeed, then if third party helps in resolving the issue, there is no harm in it,\" he said.

During his meeting with US President Barack Obama, Sharif, as expected, failed to get any traction with Obama on his wish list - US mediation on Kashmir, nuclear parity with India and an end to drone strikes on suspected terror dens in Pakistani territory.

Obama made no mention of either Kashmir or drone strikes in Pakistan that, according to Sharif, \"has become a major irritant in our bilateral relationship\" besides being a \"a continual violation of our territorial integrity\".

In London, Sharif expressed the hope that following his meeting with Obama, the issue of violation of Pakistan\'s territorial integrity and sovereignty by drone strikes would be resolved soon.

Sharif said: \"Hopefully soon the drone issue will be resolved according to the wishes of the Pakistani people.\"

He said there will be progress on the matter definitely as violation of Pakistan\'s territorial integrity and sovereignty was being committed.

\"I think this issue will now settle down somehow,\" Sharif has said.

Giving an overview of his US visit, Sharif said: \"We talked about all issues; I understand that in the past, all issues should have been discussed. But if these issues were not discussed in the past, it does not mean they should not be discussed now. Whatever we say, we act upon it. And I understand that Pakistan\'s politics should come out of duplicity and hypocrisy.\"

On Amnesty International\'s report that states that the US may be committing war crimes by using drones, Sharif said: \"Whatever they say, it is up to them. But I think I have raised this issue where it should have been raised. And when something is said, it does have its effect.\"

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