US to encourage for reduction of Indo-Pak tension: Holbrooke
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 04, 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.


First Published: Thursday, February 04, 2010, 08:36

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