WASHINGTON: Calling Kashmir a ‘vitally important’ question, the US stated that it is encouraging both Pakistan and India to discuss and move towards a resolution on the Kashmir dispute.
“We continue to encourage dialogue between Pakistan and India on this vitally important question. We are supporting both countries in trying to find a way to discuss and resolve the Kashmir issue, and reduce tensions,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J Crowley said.
He told a briefing on global issues that the importance of the Kashmir dispute has not diminished in Washington’s perspective. “Fundamentally, we have not changed our view on its importance. But ultimately, this has to be the issue that is resolved first and foremost between these two countries,” the State Department spokesman said at the Foreign Press Center.
When asked to comment in the context of acclaimed Indian writer Arundhati Roy’s raising the question if the US economic interests trample over other issues like Kashmir, Crowley stated that the US has multi-dimensional relations with several countries and focus on one issue does not preclude attention to other issues.
On the US Afghan strategy, Crowley said that the Obama administration’s policy on Afghanistan is regional and that the US has sought cooperation from both Pakistan and India for transition in the strife-hit country.
“Our strategy is a regional strategy and we have invited countries from Pakistan to India to engage in and support this transition in Afghanistan. We are not going to abandon the region; we are not going to abandon Pakistan or Afghanistan in 2014,” he stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2010.