Pak asks US to work for resolution of Kashmir

Pak foreign minister says his country wants good neighbourly ties with India.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 13:31 PM IST

Washington: Pakistan on Wednesday asked the Obama administration to work for the resolution of disputes in South Asia, particularly the Kashmir issue, which it claimed is key to peace in South Asia.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also spoke about the recent unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and said "any person of conscience cannot ignore the use of brute force against defenceless Kashmiri youth”.

"It is in the interest of lasting peace, stability and development of the region that the US works for the resolution of disputes in South Asia. This has to begin with justice for the Kashmiri people," he said.

Qureshi was responding to a question at an event jointly organised by the prestigious Brookings Institute and Asia Society.

His comments came hours after the third round of the Strategic Dialogue between the US and Pakistan began.

Contending that Pakistan is "deeply interested" in a peaceful and stable South Asia, Qureshi claimed that the prospect, however, "is in danger again by the recent events in Kashmir”.

"Any person of conscience cannot ignore the use of brute force against defenceless Kashmiri youth. In this unfolding tragedy over 100 Kashmiris have lost their lives in the past three months, many of them teenagers," he said.

"Their mothers are rightly bewildered at the deafening silence of the international community. Wisdom proposes that the aspirations of any people can`t be suppressed by the use of force, such would be with the legitimate rights of the Kashmiri people," Qureshi said.

The Pakistani foreign minister`s comments have come despite US` repeated assertion that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it has to be solved by the two countries.

In response to another question, Qureshi said Pakistan wants good neighbourly ties with India.

"Pakistan wants a very good neighbourly relationship with India. What we are saying is we have outstanding issues. Both sides have agreed that dialogue is the only sensible way forward," he said.

He said the Composite Dialogue process has "shown results, incremental progress has been achieved and we need to pursue that and yes why not, I think, it makes a lot of sense that we improve relations, that we have good normal healthy relations”.

Both India and Pakistan stands to gain from good normal healthy relationship, Qureshi said, adding that the region stands to gain from improved Indo-Pak ties.

"One thing, we are certain that both realize we do not need to use it," Qureshi said in response to a question. US-Pakistan partnership has profound consequences not only for our two nations but for international peace and security.

PTI