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Peace process giant step in right direction: Burton
December 01, 2005 18:04 IST
Influential United States Congressman Dan Burton on Thursday said the dialogue process between India and Pakistan is a giant step in the right direction.
Burton, who is vice-chairman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, is leading a six-member Congressional delegation on a visit to the region.
"If they are willing to sit and talk and bring in the people of Kashmir to the discussions, I think the problem can be resolved and United States wants to be a supporter of the process," Burton, who is also the co-chairman of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, said after meeting Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad on Wednesday night.
The Kashmir problem is complex and the leaders of the two countries are trying to resolve a very difficult issue that will require lot of consultations on either side, he said.
He arrived in Islamabad from New Delhi after meeting Indian leaders.
He said opening five points along the Line of Control following the October 8 earthquake is a good first step.
"We hope this is just the beginning and the relationship grows and there is a peaceful resolution of problems like Kashmir."
Prime Minister Aziz said Pakistan believes in finding a peaceful and negotiated settlement to all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Such a solution, he said, will ensure strengthening of peace in the region and pointed out that the US Congress, which was in favour of promoting peace in South Asia, could play a useful role in helping to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Aziz said Pakistan is an anchor of peace and stability in the region, and is committed to the promotion of peace at the regional and global levels.
He added that Islamabad is committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and this commitment flows out of its own national interests and principles.