Washington's stance on Kashmir unchanged, assures McCain

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The Senators agreed with the need for the U.S. and Pakistan to forge closer cooperation in confronting the peace and security challenges in the region and beyond, the statement said.

The US delegation said that Pakistan's proposal could be handy in Afghan normalisation as the Trump administration was conducting a review of the regional situation including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other countries.

According to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, McCain, leading a five-senator delegation in the capital Islamabad, made the remarks during a meeting with Pakistani foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz.

Former presidential candidate and veteran congressman Senator John McCain on Sunday made it clear that there was no change in the United States policy on the longstanding Kashmir dispute, stressing the need for an end to the current unrest in disputed Himalayan region.

Pakistan last week also reacted sharply when the U.S. State Department on June 26 designated as a terrorist Syed Salahuddin, leader of the largest Kashmiri militant group fighting against Indian rule, accusing the U.S. of acquiescing to the wishes of visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

McCain, the Chairman Senate Armed Services Committee, is leading a delegation of USA senators including Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator David Perdue and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to Pakistan for talks with civil and military authorities on a host of issues covering bilateral ties, current regional and worldwide situation.

It said Aziz briefed the delegation on Pakistani security forces' success against terrorism and informed them "that the terrorist networks have been dismantled and their sanctuaries eliminated".

The official source said that the USA delegation urged Pakistan and India to resolve all extraordinary issues through talks.

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

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

The adviser told the visitors Pakistan looked forward to a "constructive" engagement with the United States on efforts aimed at promoting a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

"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.

John McCain has assured to regularly visit Pakistan to strengthen ties between both the countries.

He said "India is involved in gross human rights violations in the held territory but it has failed to suppress the voice of Kashmiris through the use of brutal force".

The advisor said Islamabad firmly believes in the legitimacy of the Kashmir cause and supports the peaceful struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination, the radio reported.