Kashmir An Impediment In Ties: Hillary19 July 2010
The Indian Express
Islamabad: US secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told Pakistan on Monday that the US wants a continuation of Indo-Pak dialogue so that the two sides could amicably resolve their outstanding problems, diplomatic sources in Islamabad said. Hillary, currently is Islamabad for the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, made the remarks after a delegation-led by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed her on the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on July 15. Hillary responded saying that the US would like India and Pakistan to amicably resolve their outstanding problems. She also said that the Kashmir issue is an “impediment” in developing a relationship be beneficial to both India and Pakistan. “Kashmir... divided India and Pakistan and in my view, are impediments to developing a relationship that would be beneficial to both countries,” she said. Hillary made it clear that the US has no desire to mediate between India and Pakistan. During a town hall meeting with members of civil society later in the day, Hillary said: “We can only encourage, we can’t solve (the Kashmir issue) because at the end of the day, this is an issue (to which) there is no dictated response.” “We continue to encourage, we try to arrange and facilitate, but this is going to take a tremendous act of courage by the political leadership in both countries. There is no short-cut around it,” she said. She said there is a need to build more trust between Pakistan and Afghanistan while working on issues between India and Pakistan. Asked if the proposal to name former President Bill Clinton as a special envoy on the Kashmir issue was still on the table, she said: “In order to have anyone play that role, both sides have to agree and that has not been the case as of now.” On water-sharing Responding to a question on whether the US would step in to settle differences between India and Pakistan on sharing river waters, Hillary said Pakistan first needs to improve its internal management of waters. “It’s not that there may not be some serious issues that have to be mediated, but Pakistan has to get control of the water you currently have, because if you go to a... mediation body and say water is being diverted, the first response will be you are not efficiently using the water you have,” she said. New aid projects Hillary announced several new aid projects aimed at improving the country’s water, energy and health sectors. The projects are part of a $7.5 billion aid effort to convince Pakistan that the US is dedicated to improving lives of average citizens. “We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America’s commitment to them begins and ends with security,” said Hillary. “We share with Pakistan a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives... and make the most of their own God-given potential.” Pak-China deal Responding to a question on a Pakistan-China nuclear deal, Hillary said that the global community has reservations about the deal, which Pakistan must address.