WASHINGTON: Dashing Pakistan's hopes, the US has refused to be forthcoming on its request for a civil nuclear deal similar to the one with India and made it clear that it will not mediate on the Kashmir issue.
Secretary of State Ms Hillary Clinton, who met Pakistan Foreign Minister Mr Shah Mahmood Qureshi here Friday, skirted a question from reporters on Pakistan's quest for a civil nuclear deal, indicating that it was not on the radar of the Obama Administration.
"I can assure you that all issues have been discussed, and it's not just what we talk about here in Washington for two days, but it's what we continue to talk about between meetings, between our experts and our officials," Ms Clinton said after the third US-Pak Strategic Dialogue here.
Similarly, US State Department spokesman Mr P J Crowley clarified for the second successive day that the US had no role to play in the Kashmir issue, which had to be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan.
However, the US has announced a series of civilian and military assistance to Pakistan during Friday's Strategic Dialogue, including US $2.29 billion in new security assistance to bolster Islamabad's anti-terror capabilities.
The new US military assistance has been announced notwithstanding serious concerns voiced by India over Pakistan diverting a portion of the aid against it.
Mr Qureshi, on his part, asserted that he would not give up and continue to persist on the issues of civil nuclear deal to Pakistan and the US role on Kashmir.
"Things we've tried in the past, it hasn't worked. That doesn't mean we give up. We are persistent. And as they say: Perseverance commands success. So I am not giving up," Mr Qureshi said at a joint press conference with Clinton.
Separately, Mr Crowley voiced "great concern" about the situation in Kashmir.
"We obviously have great concern about the situation in Kashmir. We talk both to our Pakistani friends and our Indian friends on this issue on a regular basis. We would like to see the situation in Kashmir resolved," Mr Crowley said.
"Kashmir is an issue that we believe needs to be resolved between Pakistan and India. It is an issue that does come up in time to time in our bilateral discussions with Pakistan…," he said.
Mr Crowley also said the US' ties with Pakistan do not come at the expense of India.
"This is a subject (India's concerns about US military assistance to Pakistan) that comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Indian officials. It comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Pakistani officials," he said when asked about New Delhi's concerns on the issue.
"We continue to provide the same message to both countries. This is not a zero-sum proposition. Our assistance to Pakistan does not come at the expense of India, and our relationship with India does not come at the expense of Pakistan," he said.
Mr Crowley, however, dodged a question on the provision of any safeguard in the aid package to prevent Pakistan from diverting the money from counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism purposes.
"Well, all countries are sovereign, but by the same token, we've tailored this package we believe to improve training and equipping that is focused on our counter- insurgency programmes," he said.