Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Nov 05, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Front Page |
Tamil Nadu |
Andhra Pradesh |
New Delhi |
Other States |
Advts: Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday remained outwardly unfazed by U. S. President Barack Obama's statement that he views India as the “cornerstone of America's engagement in Asia,” with the Foreign Office maintaining that Islamabad's relationship with Washington should not be seen through the prism of India-U.S. relations.
“Our relations are independent of what is happening in U.S.-India relations. We strongly believe that U.S.-India relations should help peace and stability in South Asia. That continues to be our message to the U.S. administration,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said to repeated questions on the possible impact of Mr. Obama's India visit on Pakistan.
However, he added that if the U. S. displayed complete indifference to Kashmir — “an issue central to peace in the region” — then Pakistan would be concerned. “We hope the visit would help contribute towards resolving the dispute.”
Of the view that India and Pakistan can have their own equations with the U.S., Mr. Basit drew attention to the recently concluded third round of strategic dialogue between Islamabad and Washington.
“Our two countries have embarked upon the process of establishing a long-term partnership based on mutual interest. We are, therefore, not worried about the strategic partnership between the U.S. and India so long as this helps promote peace and stability in South Asia. We are confident that President Obama is conscious about that and his visit to India would help promote peace and stability in the region.”
Mr. Basit, however, refused to comment on the symbolism attached to Mr. Obama's planned stay at Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel, the focus of the 2008 November terror attacks in the metropolis. About Mr. Obama's statement that Pakistan ought to bring the perpetrators of those attacks to book, he insisted that Islamabad was sparing no effort but “we need India's assistance and cooperation for a successful completion of the trial.”
As for Congress president Sonia Gandhi's call for a political solution to Kashmir, the Foreign Office dismissed it as a “conciliatory and vague” remark made with an eye on the Obama visit. ”
Maintaining that India's stance and statements on Kashmir are “larded with contradictions,” Mr. Basit said New Delhi had always tried to put it on the backburner hoping the world would forget it.
“But this will never happen. Kashmiris will never settle for anything less than exercising their right to self-determination,” he said.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |
Copyright © 2010, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of