Obama stays away from 'K-word', PM doesn't
Barack Obama has indicated to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he would be happy to play any role India and Pakistan may want him to play, to reduce tensions between the two countries, the United States President said on Monday.
Obama made these comments when a journalist asked him about the stance of his administration on the Kashmir dispute, during a joint press conference by the US President and Dr Singh.
Image: Dr Singh and Obama at the press conference
Photographs: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
'It is in the interest of India, Pak to reduce tensions'
Playing safe on the contentious issue, Obama refused to take the K word, saying, "Dialogue between India and Pakistan may not begin on the particular flashpoint (Kashmir)."
"I believe that it is in the interest of India and Pakistan to reduce tensions between themselves and the US cannot impose solutions to these problems," he added.
However, Dr Singh said India was not afraid of the 'K' word in its discussions with Pakistan.
Image: A protestor flees from the police in Kashmir
'We are not afraid of talks with Pakistan'
"India is committed to resolving all problems with Pakistan but simultaneously, Pakistan should ensure that it moves away from terror-induced coercion. We will be happy to engage productively," said Dr Singh.
"We are not afraid of talks with Pakistan. You cannot be talking at the same time and simultaneously the terror machine is active as ever before," said the PM.
Image: An anti-India protest in Kashmir
'A peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of India'
Obama also expressed hope that in the coming months and years, India and Pakistan will find "appropriate mechanisms to work out very difficult issues".
Obama also commended the PM for his "sincere and relentless efforts for peace in the region."
"I have always maintained that a strong peaceful, moderate Pakistan is in the interest of India," he said.