Washington, Aug 1: The Obama Administration is not seeking to broker talks between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, a top American official has said, as Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Islamabad for full range of talks during which he is expected to bring it up.
"We are in no way seeking to broker any sort of conversation on Kashmir," a senior official, travelling with Kerry to Pakistan, told reporters in response to a question.
"There's no change in policy in terms of where we are on that, which is that we do not see ourselves or seek to be in the middle of any conversation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir," the official said.
"But certainly we are very supportive of the moves that both India and Pakistan have made to normalise relations," the official added. "I think that the great strides in normalisation on the economic side have been very important the last few years and have really paved the way for better and more constructive conversations on the political side. So we'll see where that continues to lead," he said.
Kerry during his June trip to India called on the Indians to continue that process of facilitation, as well as the Pakistanis to do things like provide most favored nation (MFN) status to the Indians, the official said.
"I'm sure that that will be part of the conversations that we continue to have. But we are external actors in this. We are in no way seeking to broker any sort of conversation on Kashmir," the senior administration official asserted.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led government, the official said, has already begun the outreach to India and with good cooperation on the Indian side as well in trying to jumpstart the normalisation process.