Washington: Underlining that India and Pakistan have to "determine the pace, scope and character" of their dialogue, the US has said it is open to exploring any role in resolving the Kashmir issue only if asked by them.
"I think that if there is something that both countries would want us to play (on Kashmir)… It is something that we would be open to discussing and exploring, but we are not getting in the middle of this. This is for the two of them to figure it out," a senior US official said on Thursday.
"We have always held that it is for India and Pakistan to determine pace, scope and character of their dialogue...," the official said when asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s recent request to intervene in resolving the issue.
"The United States has always been open to and supportive of any role that it can play to advance and improve that, but it is really for the two countries to determine and we have always deferred to the two countries to do that," the official added.
"We strongly support any improvement of all aspects of that relationship," the official said when asked about the Kashmir issue between the two countries.
In fact, sources said that Sharif, during his meeting with President Barack Obama at the white House last month and during all his meetings, including that with Secretary of State John Kerry, sought American help in resolving the Kashmir issue.
But such a plea was immediately dismissed by the United States Government including Obama, arguing that it is for the two countries to decide on the pace, scope and character of the relationship.
The issue never came up for discussion during Obama`s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House late September.
According to informed sources, the US counseled the Pakistani leadership to work towards creating a conducive atmosphere to resolve all its dispute with India bilaterally.
In fact the US leadership, including the President, was quick in raising the issue of continued terrorism emanating from inside Pakistan against India.