Sharif seeks US help for mediation on Kashmir

THE HAGUE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday conveyed US Secretary of State John Kerry Pakistan’s desire to use a third party to resolve the Kashmir dispute with India. “The Kashmir issue should be resolved. India is unwilling to use a third party to resolve the issue,” Sharif told reporters following his meeting with top US diplomat.

The prime minister said the  said the US needs to play a role in normalising relations in the region.

Prime Minister Sharif said he expressed Pakistan’s praise for the US policy of stopping drone attacks in the tribal areas of the country. “The policy of restraint adopted by the US should continue.”

Earlier during the meeting the John Kerry Pak-US relations were discussed. Mr. Kerry told Prime Minister Sharif that the United States will continue to work with Pakistan for the elimination of terrorism. The US Secretary State also assured the Pakistani prime minister of cooperation to over energy needs.

Speaking to the media following their meeting, John Kerry said the two countries were “deeply engaged.”

“We have great confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear security,” Kerry told reporters.

Prime Minister Sharif said: “there are a lot of challenges we are meeting these challenges in Pakistan.” The prime minister also mentioned his positive meeting with US President Obama a few months ago in Washington DC.

MFN Status To India Postponed

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that the granting of Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India had been postponed.

Speaking to mediapersons after holding a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, during the sidelines of a two-day nuclear summit, Sharif said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved adding that India showed reluctance every time Pakistan raised the matter with it.

The Prime Minister also admitted that decision to grant MFN status to India was postponed because of a lack of consensus. Sharif further said that he had directed his team to talk to all stakeholders and develop consensus on the matter.

“We also deferred this due to elections in India because we did not want to favor single political party in India”, the Prime Minister commented.

In 2012, Pakistan had committed itself to giving the MFN status to India after a strong persuasive note by the World Bank, and having done all the necessary spadework in this regard, opted to miss its own deadline of December 31, owing to domestic opposition and reciprocal response from New Delhi.

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