Sharif recalls Clinton before meeting Obama, seeks US intervention on Kashmir
Ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday sought US intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue.
"Though India does not want such (third party) intervention, but the world powers should get involved to resolve the (Kashmir) issue," he told reporters in London, during a stopover while on his way to the US where he will meet Obama on Wednesday. State-run APP news agency quoted him as saying that India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers and the region is a "nuclear flash point".
Replying to a query on Kashmir, Sharif said during his US visit in July 1999 amid the Kargil conflict, he had told then President Bill Clinton that if the US intervened, the Kashmir issue could be resolved. "I told him if he spends 10 per cent of the time he was spending on the Middle East, the issue between the two countries would resolve," he said, adding that Clinton promised, but then things changed.
Sharif said that for the last 60 years, both sides were engaged in an arms race. "The situation can become dangerous. India has nuclear bomb, so do we; India develops missiles, so do we. There should be a limit to it. We all should think about it," he was quoted as saying.
Rejecting Sharif's proposal, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told NDTV, "There is no way in which India will accept any intervention on an issue that is entirely accepted in the Simla Agreement as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan." Stating that Kashmir is an integral part of India, he said, "It is a waste of time for anybody, no matter how eminent, to be even trying to question it."