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India snubs US offer to mediate with Pakistan

Last updated on: April 04, 2017 19:07 IST

India on Tuesday made it clear that its position of bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues has not changed, in a veiled snub to the United States which suggested that it may “find its place” in efforts to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions.

“The government’s position for bilateral redressal of all India-Pakistan issues in an environment free of terror and violence hasn’t changed.

“We, of course, expect international community and organisations to enforce international mechanisms and mandates concerning terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which continues to be the single biggest threat to peace and stability in our region and beyond,” the external affairs ministry spokesperson said.

He was responding to a query on remarks of US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the American administration was “concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward”.

Haley, a senior Indian-American member of the Trump Cabinet, said she expects that the administration is going to be in talks and try and “find its place to be a part of that (de-escalating tensions)”.

“It’s absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward,” she said, signalling an apparent change in the US stance of not engaging in Indo-Pak disputes.

The remarks are the first time that Haley, as a member of the Trump Cabinet, has addressed tensions between India and Pakistan.

The previous administration under US President Barack Obama had maintained that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between the two South Asian neighbours.

Former state department spokesman John Kirby had said that the issue of Kashmir was for the two nations to work out and the US had no role to play in it.

The US had also said it was for India and Pakistan to determine the pace, scope and character of talks on the Kashmir issue.

India has strongly maintained that Kashmir was a bilateral issue with Pakistan and has ruled out any third party mediation, including either by the UN or the US.

Pakistan, on the other hand, constantly raises the Kashmir issue at various UN fora and was ready to have interlocutors from both the world body as well as from Washington to resolve the issue.

Watch Nikki Haley's statement HERE

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