‘US favours India sorting out Kashmir with Pak’

India Wednesday dismissed the possibility of a swap with the US on Kashmir problem for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and said that Washington feels that it is an issue to be sorted bilaterally with Pakistan.

Updated: Oct 13, 2010, 16:35 PM IST

New Delhi: India Wednesday dismissed the
possibility of a swap with the US on Kashmir problem for a
permanent seat in the UN Security Council and said that
Washington feels that it is an issue to be sorted bilaterally
with Pakistan.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna also asserted
that India`s role as non-permanent member, which it won in the
UNSC yesterday, will not be encumbered by any issues.

He does not share the impression that the current
phase of the problem in the Kashmir Valley and its handling
gave India a different image in the outside world.

"To my mind it sounds all speculative. These are kites
being flown. There is no truth in it. The US has been
conveying to India that we should sort out the issue. If
similar suggestions are put we take them with seriousness,"
Krishna said at a breakfast meeting with editors here.

He was asked about reports that US President Barack
Obama, who is to visit India next week, wants India to sort
settle the issue with Pakistan and that Washington would help India
get permanent membership of the UNSC.

He was also asked whether the handling of the Kashmir
issue in its current phase harmed its image and could
encumber its role as a non-permanent member of the Security
Council.

The minister said India`s relationship with the US was
not dependent on its ties with other countries including
Pakistan.

"India, US relationship is between two democracies
which value rule of law and there are various circumstances
that bring us closely together. They (US) have their own
compulsions in Afghanistan and that is where the US will need
Pakistan much more now than before," he said.

Krishna said the US also understands India`s
constructive role in Afghanistan. "So the US has a special
relationship with India and they recognise India`s efforts and
they encourage it."

PTI