'Situation not ripe' for US to mediate over Kashmir issue: US Foreign Policy official

Washington, Oct 20 (ANI): The current situation is not apt for the United States to play a role in resolving the Kashmir dispute, even if India and Pakistan accept its intervention, a senior US official has said.

Dr Isobel Coleman, an official for the US Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, made these remarks while addressing a round-table discussion on "United States and its strategic relationship-building initiatives," the Daily Times reported.

Replying to a question about the US role in resolving the Kashmir issue for bringing peace in the region, Coleman said that it could play a role if the two sides agree.

She however, added, "The situation is not ripe for this".

Commenting on the US-India relationship, she said that Washington considers Delhi a partner and an emerging economy, but it had no implications for Pakistan.

Structural factors bind Pakistan and the US in the foreseeable future, making necessary for the two to remain engaged to successfully address the current common challenges, the scholar added.

"Pakistan and the US need each other as no one of them can ignore the other," she said, adding that the relationship between the two countries was much beyond cooperation in the war on terror, as the US sees Pakistan as a source of growth and stability in the region with a special role in the Central Asian trade.

To a question regarding the current trust deficit between Islamabad and Washington, Coleman agreed that there was a lack of trust on the both sides, which, she said, could only be addressed through a constant bilateral engagement and increased people to people contacts. She, however, admitted that the US made a number of mistakes over the years.

"The US is struggling to come out of the Afghan imbroglio and it needs Pakistan's assistance on this count," she said.

The official also pointed out that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be the driving factors behind formulation of the US foreign policy in several years to come. (ANI)

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