Sharif urges Obama to raise Kashmir Issue with India

Islamabad, Nov 22: While India sees to strengthen the ties with the US for the development, Pakistan wants the superpower nation to play a crucial role in resolving the Kashmir issue. This was clear after Pak prime minister Nawaz Sharif urged US President Barack Obama to raise the controversial issue with Narendra Modi-led government during his visit to India in January next year.

Sharif requested Obama after he knew his decision to attend the Republic Day Celebration as the chief guest in India on January 26 next year.

He said that the long pending issue if gets solved early it would bring peace, stability and economic cooperation in the south Asian region.

During the conversation with Obama over phone, Sharif reminded him the invitation extended to Obama last year in Washington to visit Pakistan.

Referring to his India visit earlier this year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of prime minister Narendra Modi, Sharif said that he has made efforts to take the ties between two neighbouring countries forward. However, it was India whose unfortunate steps including the cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks and firing across LoC showed India's lack of will to normalise relations with Pak, he alleged.

He said that Pak is ready for bilateral dialogue. However, the onus is on India to create a favourable environment for the talks between two countries. Obama has reportedly given him assurance to do the best things for establishing peace.

"President Obama expressed his understanding for our position", a statement from the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office on the discussions between the two leaders.

The two leaders also discussed the regional situation with Sharif referring to the improvement of Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan as manifest in President Ashraf Ghani's recent visit to Islamabad.

President Obama appreciated Prime Minister Sharif's efforts in this regard and called it pivotal for the peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

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