India rules out third-party role in Kashmir

November 27th, 2008 - 12:46 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) India Wednesday ruled out any third-party intervention in the resolution of the Kashmir issue and underlined that it’s a bilateral issue between New Delhi and Islamabad. “It’s essentially a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi after they held talks.

He was replying to a question by a Pakistani journalist on an idea voiced by US president-elect Barack Obama to appoint a special envoy on the Kashmir issue much before he was elected president early this month. Former US president Bill Clinton’s name was mentioned for the post.

Obama’s remarks sparked anxiety in India about a possible activist role by the incoming administration in the US.

“From the Shimla agreement to the Lahore pact, it’s clear that this issue has to be resolved through dialogue between India and Pakistan,” Mukherjee said.

“There is no question of any intervention by any third party,” he stressed.

Qureshi said: “The Kashmir issue has not been forgotten and left. It’s an important segment of composite dialogue.”

In their talks lasting over one and a half hour, Mukherjee and Qureshi discussed a wide range of bilateral issues that included the intensification of economic ties, strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation and removing bottlenecks from bilateral trade.

Qureshi is on a four-day visit to India that also takes hom to Chandigarh, Ajmer and Jaipur.

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