US does not want to mediate in resolving Kashmir issue: Expert
The US does not want to play the role of a mediator in resolving the Kashmir issue and there is a very strong consensus here that it is not an area where the country wants to wade in deeply, an American expert has said.
Washington: The US does not want to play the role of a mediator in resolving the Kashmir issue and there is a very strong consensus here that it is not an area where the country wants to wade in deeply, an American expert has said.
"I think that there`s a very strong and probably durable consensus in Washington that Kashmir is not an area where the US wants to wade in deeply," Daniel Markey, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think-tank, said.
"The US is certainly willing to help with any kind of initiative that India and Pakistan would pursue on their own, but it doesn`t want to pursue a role as a mediator, it doesn`t want to make itself a third-party to any kind of discussion," Markey, author of the new book `No Exit From Pakistan: America`s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad`, said.
Markey, responding to a question on the statement made by Sharif at a Washington event in which he sought US role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, said, "In answer to....Is it constructive for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to raise this in Washington, my short answer would be, no, I don`t think it`s especially constructive."
The expert also cautioned the Pakistani leadership against believing that the US would side with it or supports its position on Kashmir, if their desire of American help in this regard is fulfilled.
Sharif, in his address to the US Institute of Peace had said, "With its growing influence in India, the US now has the capacity to do more, to help the two sides resolve their core disputes, including Kashmir, and in promoting a culture of cooperation."
"I do think that it`s politically expedient, that is, it`s important for him to show his countrymen that Kashmir has not disappeared from the agenda and that he will raise it in international fora, including with the US," Markey said, giving an explanation for Sharif`s raising Kashmir issue time and again despite that the US` refusal to his wish.
"I think that the Prime Minister would be wrong to think that if the US were to engage in that role, that he would have a strong American partner. That is, I think historically Pakistanis have seen the Americans have been more or less on their side on the Kashmir issue, or have believed that," Markey said.
"I think in recent years, the US sees this really not as an issue where it would take Pakistan`s side, but as an issue where it would prefer that India and Pakistan resolve it on their own. And that`s not going to change, regardless of what Nawaz Sharif suggests to the White House," he said.
Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan Cameron Munter said the US can at the most encourage the peace initiative between the two countries, but Kashmir is purely a bilateral issue.