Nawaz urges Obama to take up Kashmir cause with Indian leadership

Nawaz urges Obama to take up Kashmir cause with Indian leadership

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the US President Barack Obama to take up the cause of Kashmir with the Indian leadership during his forthcoming New Delhi tour.

The US president will travel to India in January for its Republic Day celebrations and talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House said on Friday.

“The president will meet with the prime minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership,” the White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

In a telephonic conversation with President Obama, Nawaz Sharif said that a solution to Kashmir issue would bring enduring peace, stability and economic cooperation to Asia.

The prime minister also referred to his visit to India earlier this year which was aimed at taking Pakistan-India relations forward.

Sharif told Obama that subsequent unfortunate steps on India’s part including cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks and unprovoked firing across the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary indicated that India was averse to normalization of relations with Pakistan.

“We remain open to the resumption of bilateral dialogue, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment in this regard,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister also expressed satisfaction at the direction of Pakistan-US relations which are on an upward trajectory while president Obama noted that Pakistan-US relations are strong and robust.

Obama also assured the prime minister that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalizes in the country.

The two leaders agreed to stay engaged to further strengthen Pakistan-US relations in their common desire to promote peace and prosperity in South Asia.

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