'Encouraged' to see improvement in J-K situation: US Senator

Influential Senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, McCain said, "I am encouraged from what I saw in Kashmir, the sense of security returning to one of the most exquisite beautiful places on Earth", while pointing out that locals were living more normal lives and there was better handling of issues by the authorities.

Hoping that economic progress will continue to grow stronger, he told a press conference here that there was improvement in situation but there will be continued tensions as long as the issue remains of significant importance to both countries (India and Pakistan).

He also maintained that "Kashmir is an internal matter" and it was not America or any other nation's place to comment on sovereign affairs of a country.

During his two-day visit McCain held discussions with J-K Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on various issues of mutual interest.

Asked if he discussed Kashmir during his meeting with Pakistan Army Chief Gen Pervez Kayani, the US Senator said the focus was on ties between America and Pakistan but noted that there have been incursions in the Kashmir by certain individuals who are committed to
create trouble there.

He also talked about the increasing realisation among Americans, including senior representatives, on the "troubled connections" between Pakistan military and terrorist groups such as Haqqani network and LeT.



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