US on Thursday tossed out Pakistan’s request to mediate in resolving bilateral issues like Kashmir with India as it said the country can’t dictate the foreign policy of any of the two South Asian countries.
Emerging out of the first Cabinet-level ‘Strategic Dialogue’ between the US and Pakistan here, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said America encourages dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Ms. Clinton and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi co-chaired the ‘strategic dialogue’ between the two countries.
“We can’t dictate Pakistani foreign policy or Indian foreign policy, but we can encourage, as we do, the in-depth discussion between both countries that we think would benefit each of them with respect to security and development,” Ms. Clinton told a joint press conference with Ms. Qureshi.
To a question by a Pakistani journalist that why the US is not playing its due role in resolving the issues of concern for the people of Pakistan vis a vis India, she said, “I think it’s important to recognise that the US has positive relationships with both Pakistan and India, and we certainly encourage dialogue between India and Pakistan.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Qureshi had sought constructive engagement of the US to encourage the process of peaceful resolution of all South Asian disputes, including Kashmir.
The issues that are part of that (India-Pak) dialogue need to be addressed and a resolution of them between the two countries would certainly be in everyone’s best interest, the top US diplomat said.
“I want to just underscore that our goal in the Obama administration is to make clear that we are going to be a partner with Pakistan on a full range of matters,” she added.