Despite rebuff, Nawaz Sharif seeks US intervention in Kashmir

Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Despite a rebuff from both India and the US, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday once again sought to draw Washington into the Kashmir dispute ahead of his meeting with President Barack Obama.

"Given its relationship with India, US has capacity to do more to help Pakistan-India resolve their disputes, including Kashmir," he said in an address to the US Institute of Peace, a US Congress funded federal institution, on the eve of his meeting with Obama.

"Pakistan appreciate the constrictive role US is playing between Pakistan and India," Sharif said asking US to do more, repeating the comments he had made Sunday in London on way to Washington.

US had rejected out of hand Sharif's call for Washington to get involved to resolve the Kashmir issue even before he landed here Sunday with a senior administration official saying that "On Kashmir, our policy has not changed an iota."

While it encouraged a dialogue between the two countries, "the pace, scope, and character of India and Pakistan's dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine with each other," the official repeating the oft-repeated US stand.

India too has rejected any third party intervention in Kashmir with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid making it clear that the matter can be discussed only under the 1972 Shimla Pact.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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