Kashmir firmly on international agenda: US
10 January 2003
New Delhi: Categorically stating “ Kashmir is now firmly on the international agenda” US has asserted that both India and Pakistan have “reaffirmed their desire for a peaceful political solution to their conflict.” This was stated by Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca, according to a just released summery of a recent panel discussion at the congressionally-funded United States Institute for Peace, said a dispatch of a News Portal. “Throughout South Asia, the search for prosperity and democracy is too often overshadowed by the specter of war,” added Rocca. Former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott listed five “benchmark issues of past dialogue between the US and both India and Pakistan. They were getting the two countries to sign the comprehensive test ban treaty; breathing new life into the fissile material cut off treaty; Engaging both countries on export controls on dangerous technology and nuclear know-how; encouraging strategic restraint to bring the danger of fall-out under control; and Promoting continued India-Pakistan dialogue, to diffuse the conflict. Talbott said it is “sobering” to see how little progress has been made on these benchmark issues with the exception of export controls and India-Pakistan dialogue. On other countries in South Asia, Rocca said there is hope for a cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka but she is less optimistic about events in Nepal, stated the dispatch. She said the US Administration hopes to play a productive role in assisting these nations to settle their differences “ not as a meddler nor as mediator, but as somebody whose good offices can help bring people to the table,” added the Portal.