'Peace in South Asia elusive if India keeps denying Kashmiris right to self-determination'

Sustained engagement between Islamabad, Washington critical to regional stability: Romney


News Desk March 08, 2019
Ambassador to the US Asad M Khan shakes hand with US Senator Mitt Romney after a meeting at the Capitol Hill. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF PAKISTAN in WASHINGTON

Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, Asad M Khan, cautioned the Trump administration and said that lasting peace and stability in South Asia would remain elusive as long as India continues to deny the people occupied Kashmir their right to self-determination.

 

A press release by the country's mission in Washington said the envoy made the statement during a meeting with Senator Mitt Romney, chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on South Asia. Romney also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committees.

Referring to the recent escalation in tension between Pakistan and India, Khan reiterated Pakistan's desire to resolve the core regional dispute through dialogue.

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He highlighted the restraint and maturity shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan amid heightening tensions with New Delhi. “PM Imran’s decision to release the pilot of a downed Indian aircraft had been critical to de-escalating the situation between Pakistan and India,” Khan told Romney.

The ambassador also thanked US President Donald Trump for playing a part in de-escalating the situation. He said Islamabad desired a long-term broad-based partnership with the US which has “historically been a factor for stability in South Asia”.

Trump hints at de-escalation between India, Pakistan as US mediates

“As a victim of blowback from nearly 40 years of instability and violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan had long held that there was no military solution to the conflict. Pakistan was, therefore, committed to facilitating the Afghan peace process, which was ultimately the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the region's stability,” he said while stressing Islamabad’s resolve to work with the US to bring peace in Afghanistan.

Romney affirmed that sustained engagement between Islamabad and Washington was critical to regional stability.

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