US to encourage for reduction of Indo-Pak tension: Holbrooke

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 08:36

Washington: Ruling out any move by the Obama
administration to mediate between India and Pakistan, Special
US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, on Wednesday said the
US would encourage and applaud any effort to reduce tension
between the two South Asian neighbours.

"I want to be clear that anything that the two countries
do to reduce tensions or improve relations will be something
we would applaud and encourage," Richard Holbrooke told
correspondents at a news briefing at the Washington Foreign
Press Center.

"But we are not going to act as intermediaries between
Islamabad and New Delhi. That is not what we are here to do.
I`m not just talking about myself," Holbrooke said in response
to a question.

The Special US Envoy who is the point man of the Obama
Administration on Afghanistan and Pakistan with the mandate to
help bring peace and stability in the two countries, also
ruled out any attempt to try and resolve the Kashmir dispute
between Indian and Pakistan.

"We are not going to negotiate or mediate on that
(Kashmir) issue. And I`m going to try to keep my record and
not even mention it by name," Holbrooke said who has ever
since his appointment last year has maintained that Kashmir is
not his mandate.

"India is part of the region, the largest country in the
region. Although I have no responsibility for US-Indian
relations, because of their great importance in these issues,
I go to New Delhi as often as I can."

I was there two weeks ago. I look forward to seeing
Indian officials at the Munich Security Conference day after
tomorrow. There were Indians represented at the talks in
London, with whom I spoke," he said.

"The Indians have a legitimate series of security
interests in that region, as do a number of other countries,
including, of course, Pakistan, China and all the other
countries that neighbour on Afghanistan".

"And any search for a resolution on the war in
Afghanistan requires that the legitimate security interests of
every country be understood and taken into account," he
argued.

"The dilemma arises when those security interests tend to
be in conflict. And Afghanistan has suffered throughout
history by the fact that it has sometimes become the terrain
for surrogate struggles for power. We do not want to see that
happen. I hope that that will be something we can continue to
work on," Holbrooke said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 08:36

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