Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked U.S. President Barack Obama to take up the Kashmir issue with the Indian leadership when he travels to India in January 2015.
Mr. Sharif made the request when Mr. Obama telephoned him, informing about his forthcoming India visit and discussing bilateral ties and the regional situation.
“The Prime Minister also urged President Obama to take up the cause of Kashmir with the Indian leadership, as its early resolution would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia,” said a Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office statement on the discussions between the two leaders.
It said that Mr. Obama informed Mr. Sharif of his forthcoming visit to India in January to attend India’s Republic Day Parade as the chief guest.
During the call, Mr. Sharif recalled an invitation he extended to Mr. Obama in 2013 in Washington and conveyed the expectation of the people of Pakistan to welcome the U.S. President to the country some time in the future.
“The President also assured the Prime Minister that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalises in the country,” the Prime Minister’s Office statement said.
During the call, Mr. Sharif also referred to his visit to India earlier this year to take relations forward.
Mr. Sharif alleged that India subsequently took “unfortunate steps, including cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks” and “firing across the LoC resulting in civilian casualties” which showed that “India was averse to normalisation of relations with Pakistan.”
Mr. Sharif said Pakistan “remains open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard”.
“President Obama expressed his understanding for our position,” the statement said.
The two leaders also discussed the regional situation.
The Prime Minister referred to the improvement of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations as manifest in President Ashraf Ghani’s recent visit to Islamabad.
Later, the White House also confirmed that Mr. Obama had called Mr. Sharif on Friday.
“I can confirm that the President did speak with PM (Prime Minister) Sharif,” Mark Stroh, spokesman of the National Security Council, said.