Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said Pakistan was willing to go the “extra mile” to improve relations with India. But he also sought US help to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“Pakistan wants to live in peace with its neighbour,” the prime minister said in reference to India, adding, “we would not be found wanting in walking the extra mile.”
But that that didn’t stop Pakistan’s PM from repeating a longstanding Pakistani demand for US involvement, to India’s constant irritation
as it is opposed to third party interference.
The US too has shown no inclination for it in recent years. But that has not stopped Pakistan from trying. Sharif raised it on his way to DC and got to it in his first pubic interaction.
“With its growing influence on India,” Sharif said in a speech at a DC think-tank, “the US has the capacity to do more to help the two sides resolve their core disputes including Kashmir.”
But PM Sharif was not going to wait. Pakistan was committed to a dialogue to resolve the dispute bilaterally — going the extra mile, as he said. Sharif said Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India through “dialogue and negotiations”. He added, “We are confident there are areas where we can make quick progress.”
And Pakistan wants to normalise trade relations. His meeting with Prime Manmohan Singh in New York in September, Sharif said “reflected this desire” to resolve all issues through dialogue.
Later, in response to a question on ties with India, Sharif said, “whenever we want to move forward something happens and the process gets a serious setback.”