Richard Holbrooke, US Special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, says he is not working on the Kashmir issue even as he keeps India closely informed of his effort in the region where "India is hugely important factor."
"Let me be very clear. I am not working on that problem," he said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank, when asked by a Pakistani journalist if the Obama administration was serious about appointing an adviser to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"I don't even mention the problem I am not working on. That's a game when I go to India - and I go to India frequently and I look forward to going back soon because we keep the Indians very closely informed of our effort because India is hugely important factor here."
"But, whenever that question comes up, your Indian journalistic colleagues try to get me to mention the K word and I won't do it because everybody keeps saying that either I am secretly working on it, or I ought to be working on it," Holbrooke said.
"Well, they are wrong on both counts. I am not working on that problem," he reiterated.
"The President (Barack Obama) addressed it very clearly as did the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) in recent interviews and my job is to work on the civilian side of Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Holbrooke said, "we all know how important that issue is - everyone knows it. And, it's a long tortured history. But, it's not what I do and it's not what the countries in the region expect me to do.'
"And, I understand why you ask it, but that's the simple fact," he added.