US should act as facilitator not mediator on Kashmir issue: Faro

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Jammu, Nov 16 (UNI) The United States can play a vital role in resolving the Kashmir issue by acting as a facilitator in bringing both India and Pakistan on negotiation table rather than becoming a mediator, National Conference (NC) patron and high profile contender for Chief Minister's post in Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said.

''Instead of mediating on Kashmir, the US should come up as a facilitator to bring New Delhi and Islamabad close for dialogue and help resolve their decades-old bilateral issue,'' Dr Abdullah told UNI in an interview.

The NC patron said US President-elect Barack Obama can play a greater role by facilitating India and Pakistan to find resolution of Kashmir issue through bilateral talks.

''Mediation on Kashmir issue won't be acceptable in any case, particularly to India,'' Dr Abdullah said.

The NC, he said, would also act as a catalyst to bring Kashmir issue to its logical end. ''We will act as facilitators for organising separatists-New Delhi talks besides playing an active role in bringing India and Pakistan for dialogue.'' According to Dr Abdullah, both India and Pakistan would have to lose something to gain peace in the sub-continent.

''Without give and take, there won't be any possibility of solution (to Kashmir issue),'' the three-time Chief Minister of J&K said.

People of Jammu and Kashmir, he said, should be involved in the negotiation for resolution of ''K'' issue. ''The solution cannot be forced on the people of Jammu and Kashmir,'' the NC leader said.

Dr Abdullah described Gen Parvez Musharraf's tenure as Pakistan President as ''golden opportunity'' for resolution of Kashmir issue, which India failed to capitalise.

''India failed to properly avail the opportunity when Gen Musharraf was President (of Pakistan), who seemed to be interested in resolving decades-old issue and had initiated some steps in this direction,'' he said.

Dr Abdullah rejected United Nations's role in resolving Kashmir issue. ''It has been observed that the UN cannot play any role in the Kashmir issue,'' he said.


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