China has distanced itself from committing, at least overtly, to a "substantive" and "meaningful" role that it could play towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India, the influential Daily Times said on Saturday.
While the Kashmir issue has remained on the backburner during the current visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, sections of Pakistani media felt that Hu was not forthcoming, as it might have been expected on the Kashmir issue where the Chinese support has been traditionally unequivocal.
Asked what role China could play in resolving the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India, Hu, addressing a joint press conference with President Pervez Musharraf, said that Pakistan and India were "China's close neighbours and Beijing sincerely hoped to see peace and stability in the subcontinent," the newspaper said.
Hu told the questioner that China supported efforts by Pakistan and India to resolve their disputes through dialogue.
"China will continue to view its relations with Pakistan from a strategic and long-term perspective. China is ready to work with Pakistan to raise their strategic partnership to a new level," the Chinese president said.
According to The News, Musharraf said there was a need to focus on conflict resolution and Kashmir happens to be the core issue. He said there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is sincerity on both sides to resolve the dispute. People of both the countries desire peace.
Musharraf said he was optimistic about the future because he interacted with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he saw a desire towards resolution of disputes between the two countries.
He said there is a realisation on both sides that resolution of disputes and bringing peace and harmony between the two countries would lead to economic development, mutual economic benefits and prosperity of peoples on both sides.