WASHINGTON – Affirming that there is no change in the long-held US policy on Kashmir, a senior Obama administration official has advised Pakistan and India to set the pace, scope, and nature of talks over the Kashmir dispute.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, told foreign reporters in Washington, “There’s not been any change in the long-held US policy that with respect to relations between India and Pakistan, and particularly with respect to issues regarding Kashmir”.
“It is for India-Pakistan to set the pace, the scope, and really the nature of those conversations and that process,” she said when asked by a Pakistani correspondent about what the US was doing to help the two countries resolve some of their longstanding disputes, including Kashmir.
The United States, Biswal said “supports any improvements in the overall relationship, and we have seen important overtures by both countries towards dialogue.”
The US, she said welcomed the fact that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif “had a meeting in New York last fall, and we welcome all dialogue and all improvements in that relationship.”
“A good place to start is on the trade front,” Biswal suggested, “because it’s a win-win for both countries.”