Holbrooke and Rudd refuse to comment on Kashmir

US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd refused to comment on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2010, 00:29 AM IST

Islamabad: US Special Envoy for Pakistan
and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke and Australian Foreign
Minister Kevin Rudd today refused to comment on the situation
in Jammu and Kashmir even as Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi emphasised the need for a peaceful settlement
of the Kashmir dispute.

The three leaders were asked a question on the
situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been rocked by
violent protests over the past few months, during a joint news
conference in Qureshi`s hometown of Multan in Punjab province.

They interacted with the media after touring areas
affected by floods.

Holbrooke and Rudd parried the question, saying they
were focussing on relief efforts for flood victims.
Rudd said the Australian government condemns all acts
of violence but did not elaborate.

Holbrooke said he was not in Pakistan to talk about
the Kashmir issue.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan has strongly
condemned the killing of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has conveyed to the Indian government that it
has to listen to the voice of the Kashmiris as they cannot be
suppressed by force, he said.

Pakistan will continue its moral, political and
diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people and the Kashmir
issue could be resolved only through a peaceful solution found
through dialogue, Qureshi said.

Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed region and Pakistan is
a party to the dispute, Qureshi said.

It is necessary to find a peaceful solution to the
problem, he added.

PTI