Sharif seeks third party mediation on Kashmir issue

Washington, Oct 23: Describing Kashmir as "a flashpoint" between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said there is a need for a third party meditation to resolve the issue and end stalemate in the Indo-Pak dialogue process.

"(Currently) there are no bilateral talks (between India and Pakistan) on resolving the Kashmir issue. In that scenario there should be a third party meditation on this. If India does not accept a third party role, if there is no bilateral talks then there is a stalemate," Sharif told reporters after his meeting with US President Barack Obama yesterday.


"This stalemate needs to be addressed," the Prime Minister said in response to a question. Speaking in Urdu, Sharif said he raised the Kashmir issue in all his meetings with the US leadership including Obama. "

It (Kashmir)also figured in the joint statement," Sharif said adding all of them recognised that Kashmir is a "flashpoint" and it needs to be resolved.

Sharif said he briefed Obama on his Kashmir peace initiative. "Unfortunately, Pakistan has not received adequate response from India on its peace initiative," he said, adding that Obama during the meeting agreed that Kashmir issue needs to be resolved.

India has rejected any third party intervention to the Kashmir issue and has maintained that all outstanding matters in the Indo-Pak ties should be resolved bilaterally.

In response to a question on the Indo-Pak relationship, he recalled his visit to New Delhi to attend the swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the meeting, he said, he offered Modi to revive the peace process from where he and former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee left in Lahore in 1999. Sharif said he urged Modi that the two leaders should talk and resolve the issues between the two countries.

"He agreed for talks and then suddenly unilaterally cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks," the Pakistan Prime Minister said. "Had he (Modi) talked to me. Things could have been different. But he took such a decision without consulting me," Sharif rued.


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