US favours Indo-Pak amity, says Powell |
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the US policy towards India and Pakistan and its attitude towards the Kashmir issue is one of "trying to turn our parallel improvement of relations with India and Pakistan into a triangle of conflict resolution."
But he made it clear that the US was not imposing itself as a mediator.
India and Pakistan, he said, still dispute who should control Kashmir. During 2002, a major war between them--perhaps involving nuclear weapons -- seemed distinctly possible, he said.
"So, working with partners in Europe and Asia," he said, "we mobilised to help end the crisis".
"We have since been trying to turn our parallel improvement of relations with India and Pakistan into a triangle of conflict resolution. We do not impose ourselves as a mediator. But we do try to use the trust we have established with both sides to urge them toward conciliation by peaceful means," he said in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs journal.
"Whereas Russia is still developing its democracy, India's democracy dates from its Independence in 1947. With recent economic reforms setting institutional roots, India is developing into a mature market economy," he said.
"As Indians themselves are the first to admit, however, their country still faces many challenges. Illiteracy, poverty, environmental degradation, and inadequate infrastructure all hamper progress," Powell said.
"We want to help India overcome these challenges, and we want to help ourselves through a closer association with one of the world's venerable cultures. We have, therefore, worked to deepen our relationship with India," he said.