US Will Not Help Solve Kashmir Problem: Cooks
1 March 2005
New York: Former US Ambassador to the UN and author of two books on foreign affairs Dennis Cooks has said the period of Gen Ayub Khan was the best time for the solution of the Kashmir issue. Talking to The Nation on Tuesday, Cooks said after that the wave of mistrust gripped both India and Pakistan which has stopped right now. Now, both the countries have once again got a chance to seriously consider on finding a solution to this core issue, he added. Responding to a question, he said in 1960s, the US wanted Gen Ayub to accept some points regarding the solution of the Kashmir issue but the General refused to accept those. Then the US presented some points during the 1965 war with India and told that these could create chance of resolving the dispute, he added. He further said Gen Ayub had outrightly rejected those points. In the prevailing circumstances, the international community, including the US, wants both Delhi and Islamabad to resolve this long-standing issue, and the start of bus service between two countries is a positive step in this direction, he added. To another question, he said former US President Bill Clinton was serious in resolving the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, adding he (Clinton) wanted solution of Kashmir and Palestine conflicts. 'Unfortunately, the 9-11 incident has changed priorities of the US Administration. This tragic incident has diverted Bush Administration's attention from these problems,' he stated, adding 'it is now fully concentrating on fighting global terrorism and stopping nuclear proliferation.' In the present international scenario, he said, the international community including the US now is realising that peace in South Asia lies in the solution of all outstanding disputes between India and Pakistan. To a query, Dennis Cooks said some senior leaders of both Democratic and Republican parties dislike President George Bush's undue support for 'uniformed democracy' in Pakistan, adding they believe that such kind of democracy is against prestige of Pakistan. 'Every person in the world want a solution of this problem (Kashmir) but no one has magic wand to do this overnight,' he said and added 'however, China is neighbour of both countries and it can help settle this issue if it wishes so.' To another query, the former US diplomat said the US would never like to directly get involved in this issue and would never interfere in the on-going freedom struggle of Kashmiris in Jammu and Kashmir because Washington has always given preference to its interests, adding the US will never directly mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue. 'I don't think that the US will help settle the Kashmir dispute,' he remarked. He said Pakistan has a strong and independent standing in the international community. Asked whether the UN can help settle the Kashmir issue, Dennis Cooks replied: 'This organisation has failed to get this major issue settled between India and Pakistan, and the main reason for this is that major powers control this world body. The UN is not in a position to take any decision without their wish,' he added.