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US` efforts to resolve Kashmir issue futile: CIA

India and Pakistan have decided to resume comprehensive talks on issues.



Washington: Efforts to reach out between India and Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir by the United States have not gone "anywhere", CIA director Leon Panetta has said.

"There have been efforts to try to reach out between Pakistan and India, but as far as I know, they haven`t gotten anywhere," Panetta said at a Congressional hearing on `Worldwide Threats` by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

A resolution of this long pending dispute between the two neighbours would help a great deal in terms of security of Pakistan, he said.

Top US intelligence officials including the FBI director Robert Muller and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, testified before the hearing chaired by Congressman Mime Rogers.

Panetta was responding to a question from Congressman Peter King on whether there has been any change in the dynamics on the ground on the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

"I think yesterday or today, (India and Pakistan) have agreed to resume strategic dialogue. If that happens, that would be a movement in the right direction," Clapper said in response to the same question.

"Is there a possibility of reciprocation if the situation in Kashmir does improve somewhat, that we get more cooperation in the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan)?" said King.

The CIA director said: "I have to say this that the Pakistanis, with regards to the operations that we`re involved with, have provided cooperation and have worked with us certainly in the efforts to try to go after al Qaeda, and I appreciate that effort.”

"At the same time, obviously, we worry about their (Pakistan`s) relationship with militant groups and their relationship in terms of the effort with regards to India. If Kashmir, that area could be resolved, that would help a great deal overall in terms of Pakistani security,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the White House had hoped that resumed dialogue between India and Pakistan would be productive.

"I think that the idea of them sitting down and having peace talks is something that the President has encouraged and we hope will be productive in their outcome," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

India and Pakistan on Thursday announced commencement of comprehensive talks on all outstanding issues, including terrorism as also progress on 26/11 trial there, and Jammu and Kashmir.

The talks were suspended more than two years ago in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks.

PTI

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