“US not in position to have effective impact on K-issue between India-Pak”: US official

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WASHINGTON - A senior US official has ruled out the possibility of US President Barack Obama raising the Kashmir issue with Indian leaders, saying that the United States “is not in a position where can have an effective impact” on India and Pakistan.

“It’s not an issue where we wish to inject ourselves,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department Geoffrey Pyatt said during an interview with the BBC, the transcript of which was officially released by the US department of State.

“We’ve made clear for a long long time that the scope, pace and timing of dialogue between India and Pakistan is for those two countries to decide,” Pyatt maintained.

He reiterated that the US welcomed dialogue between India and Pakistan, and admitted, “We’re not in a position where can have an effective impact on the two governments. The interest that the United States has is in advancing the dialogue which the two governments have to pursue based on their own national interests and their own politics.”

“In that regard we have great respect for the commitment that Prime Minister Singh has demonstrated to the vision of rapprochement with Pakistan and to the vision of a more open and productive relationship between the two countries,” he added.

When asked: “It is a very sensitive relationship. It required the President to make a call to Pakistan to reassure the Pakistani government that the visit to India didn’t take anything away from the commitment that Washington also had to Pakistan. It’s a fine line you have to walk between those two countries,” Pyatt said, “No, it is. But I think we’re at a moment right now where we have a strong relationship with both capitals and that’s the ideal situation, from my standpoint.”

“We would like to convince both governments and both societies that a good relationship with Pakistan and a good U.S. relationship with India are in the interest of the wider South Asian community; and a strong relationship with one government doesn’t take anything away from a strong relationship with the other. This is not a zero sum equation,” he added.

Interestingly, Pyatt did not utter the “K-word” during his approximately 140-word-reply on the Kashmir issue. (ANI)

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