India on Tuesday told the U.S. that its dialogue with Pakistan will be a graduated one as the problems between the two countries cannot be solved in a few sittings.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna conveyed India’s position to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when he met her in Kabul on the sidelines of the International Conference on Afghanistan.
Mr. Krishna said he also gave his assessment of his recent talks with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Ms. Clinton.
“I mentioned that India wanted a dialogue which could continue. It was not a dialogue which could be over in one sitting. I think there has to be continuity to the dialogue. Because the nature of the problems that we have inherited over 60 years cannot be resolved by one dialogue, two or three dialogues,” he told reporters accompanying him on his way back home.
Mr. Krishna said there has to be an institutional mechanism for resolving the concerns between India and Pakistan.
“So I gave my assessment of the situation. India wanted a graduated approach to settle the problems (with Pakistan). First we should dispose of those which are doables which take very little complexities. We can deal with other problems later on when we meet again,” he said.
Asked whether Kashmir issue came up during his discussion with Ms. Clinton, Mr. Krishna replied in the negative.
The U.S. Secretary of State, who was in Islamabad on Monday, had said that the Kashmir issue is an “impediment” in developing a relationship that will be beneficial to both India and Pakistan.
“Kashmir (issue) that have divided India and Pakistan and in my view are impediments to developing a relationship that would be beneficial to both countries,” she had said.
During the meeting in Kabul, the two leaders also discussed the AfPak situation and President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to India.
Mr. Krishna and Ms. Clinton mainly discussed bilateral relations, including the visit of Mr. Obama to India in November, official sources said.
Describing the 30-minute meeting as “good”, they said Mr. Krishna briefed Ms. Clinton about his July 15 talks with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad.
U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones’ recent visit to India during which the two countries identified areas for further cooperation also came up for discussion between Ms. Clinton and Mr. Krishna.