‘US can help resolve Kashmir issue’


GENEVA – The US could play a key role in allaying Pakistan’s fears about India by getting involved in a solution to the Kashmir dispute, a senior Pakistani diplomat said on Friday. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Zamir Akram, said attempts by India and Pakistan to negotiate a settlement were derailed after 2006 by Hindu or Muslim “extremist” groups in each country.
“Unfortunately the momentum has been lost,” he told journalists. When asked what single short-term gesture could help allay Pakistan’s concerns about the strategic intentions of its neighbour, Akram said, “Something that Obama promised when he was a candidate for president but abandoned when he became president, that is, facilitate the solution to the Kashmir dispute.” “That’s the gesture that the administration itself said it wanted to take and they should follow up on it,” he added. Akram suggested that the West has been too intent on securing relations with its ally India to forge a bulwark against China – an ally of Pakistan – in Asia.
He pointed out that Pakistan’s concerns about its neighbour stretched from nuclear weapons to energy supply, a strategic build-up in the region, and a fear of being surrounded to the west and east by neighbours with which it has tensions, Afghanistan and India.