US offers to be helpful interlocutor
LALIT K JHA
Washington, June 6: The US has hoped that the Indo-Pak talks would “blossom into a full-blown discussion” to resolve issues like Kashmir and offered to be a handy and helpful “interlocutor” if the two sides desired so.
Encouraged by the decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani to resume their peace talks, the US National Security Adviser James Jones said the US is offering assistance in this regard based on what both the countries would like.
“We take the direction from India and Pakistan to try to be interlocutor that is handy and helpful. But basically, this has to be done by the Indian and Pakistani authorities. In whatever way we can be helpful, we are happy to help,” Jones told PTI.
“We know that there are certain things that must be done, in order to bring about any kind of a long-term resolution and that’s why bilaterally with Pakistan, we are focusing on problems of terrorism,” Jones asserted.
He was in particular highly appreciative of the leadership of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
“He has been patient in supporting the talks that have started. So I actually think, we are not in a position to give India advice. I think, if we can be in a position to be helpful in some ways that is how I would characterise our position right now,” Jones said when asked what the US would like India to do in terms of improving ties with Pakistan.
When referred to Pakistan’s wish list to the US on resolving the Kashmir issue, as was widely reported in the mainstream US media early this year, Jones said: “It would be wrong to think that the United States is going to be able to come up with a formula for it that somehow can be dropped down on the two countries.”
Getting the two countries to talk is the first step and any long-term resolution has to come from the two South Asian neighbours, he said.
“So our hope is that these initial talks (between India and Pakistan) would blossom into a full blown discussion and that the more sensitive topics can eventually be addressed,” Jones said.
There are problems between India and Pakistan that need to be addressed and tensions and suspicions that existed for long time between the two countries need to be removed, he said.
“It is easy to say, it is not easy to do, but at some point, you have to get to the starting point and we are hopeful that these discussions are there,” Jones said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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