India, Pakistan must solve Kashmir dispute: US to Sharif

New Delhi/Washington, Oct 26 (IANS) The US has reiterated to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute and Washington continues to encourage dialogue between two countries.

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a tweet: "Out (sic) position has not changed. up to India and Pakistan, US continues to encourage dialogue between two countries."

On 22, despite a rebuff from India and the US, the Pakistani prime minister had 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," Sharif 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," he said asking US to do more as he repeated the comments he had made two days ago 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 Sharif landed in Washington 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 said repeating the oft-stated 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.

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