Obama’s successor would be balanced, consistent towards us, says Pakistan’s envoy

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Pakistan hopes that US President Barack Obama’s successor would be different and would have a balanced and consistent policy, one of Prime Minister’s special envoys on Kashmir has said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sent special envoys to Washington as part of efforts to apprise the global community of the “current situation” in Kashmir and build Pakistan’s case on the issue that has led to tensions with India.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, one of the two members of the Pakistani delegation, said the new US administration would be different from the Obama administration, “which hopefully would have more balanced, strategic, sustained and consistent policy”, Dawn reported on Sunday.

After meeting several US officials over he past five days, the envoys said they noticed a “desire” in Washington to help defuse the tensions.

Since the attack on an army base in Uri on 18 September by Pakistan-backed terrorists in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed, tensions have ran high between the two neighbours.

The US State Department, the White House and the Pentagon have almost daily spoken about the tensions and regularly asked Pakistan to act against “cross-border terrorism”.

US officials and think-tank too have raised the issue with the Pakistani delegation, reminding it of the need to end cross-border attacks if Pakistan wants its stance on Kashmir to be heard.

At the end of their visit, the envoys yesterday said that the US was doing “positive pushing and prodding” for reducing the tensions between the two countries.

The militancy, particularly cross-border attacks, was an issue that the delegation had to confront at almost each of more than a dozen meetings it attended in Washington, it said.

Syed said they would not be surprised if Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally decided to come to Islamabad to attend the SAARC Summit “and embrace Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.

“There is no alternative for talks. And this is a message that the Americans are also sending to both India and Pakistan,” said the other envoy Shezra Mansab Ali.

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