Washington's stance on Kashmir unchanged, assures McCain

US wants end to violence in Kashmir, says McCain

The US senator declared Pakistan's role as crucial for bringing stability in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have had a rocky relationship in the last few years, with both sides accusing each other of patronizing certain Taliban groups on their soil.

A five-member US delegation, headed by McCain, held talks with a Pakistani delegation led by the country's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad, said Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria.

The five-member delegation led my Senator John McCain visited Pakistan days after the United States blacklisted Syed Salahuddin, the chief of Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, as a "global terrorist".

To a question, he said Pakistan strongly rejects designating Syed Salahuddin as terrorist.

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The delegation included John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, and David Perdue.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's top foreign policy official, and also met army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. "Kashmir issue should be resolved in peaceful way through negotiation", he said while talking to state television (PTV) in Islamabad.

"Pakistan reiterated to the USA senators that military solution is no option in Afghanistan and as it has been tried in past by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Centcom forces without any success", the official said.

The joint statement issued after the Trump-Modi visit gave the impression as if the U.S. has chose to depart from its traditional position on Kashmir.

The two sides agreed on the importance of security cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and Afghanistan, said a military statement late Sunday.

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The adviser underscored the significance of the longstanding cooperation between the two countries and the need to make this partnership diverse and multidimensional.

He also asked how Afghan Taliban could join the peace process.

Pakistan looked forward to constructive engagement with the United States on all efforts and initiatives that would lead to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

In the meeting, he also raised concern over the alleged "human rights violations" in Kashmir and "international community s silence" on the issue.

Aziz, who serves as de facto foreign minister, reiterated his country's position, saying, "Pakistan firmly believes in the legitimacy of the Kashmir cause and the peaceful struggle of the Kashmiri people to claim the right to self-determination promised to them by the global community through the UN Security Council resolutions".

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