Kashmir should not be 'prerequisite' in initial Indo-Pak talks: Kerry

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Washington, Feb.16 (ANI): Asserting that the Pune's German Bakery blast should not derail the upcoming Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, one of the key aides of President Barack Obama, Senator John Kerry has said that Washington is ready to assist both countries, and that the long pending Kashmir issue should not be a 'prerequisite' in the initial conversation.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said while Washington has no intention to impose itself over the forthcoming deliberations, it is always ready to help either of the two parties to resolve issues.

"I do not think we should impose ourselves in any way. The right thing is to talk; you lose nothing by talking," he said.

When asked what India should do if it finds evidence regarding Pakistan's link in Saturday's bomb blast in Pune which killed 10 persons, including some foreign nationals, Kerry said if there is such evidence, then Pakistan will have to deal with that.

"I hope India will have that conversation with Pakistan and, if they have evidence to that effect, that should be the first thing on the table and Pakistan has to deal with it," he said.

Kerry underlined that the 'greatest mistake' in responding to another terror strike that emanated from Pakistan would be for the two sides to give those responsible what they seek to achieve: 'the subversion of democracy and the rule of law.'

No terrorist group has claimed the responsibility for the German Bakery blast.

Agencies probing the blast said that it is too early to point fingers towards one particular group.

However, independent sources said the blast in Pune was triggered as part of what is called the Karachi Project planned by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). (ANI)

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