WASHINGTON - The impasse between two major coalition partners in the Pakistan government over the reinstatement of some 60 superior judges is not permanent, a senior U.S. official told a congressional panel Wednesday while pledging to support  an independent judiciary in the country. "(T)hey're at an impasse right now, but that doesn't make it permanent," Richard Boucher, assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, said when the issue figured at a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs sub-committee for the region. Responding to questions, he said that it is up to the political parties how the resolve the questions pertaining to judiciary. "They have to solve the political problems first. So at this point, we're looking to them to resolve this political issue of restoration of judges -- however they decide to do it." The United States, he said, "want to support an independent judiciary in Pakistan. We have had, I think, some programmes in this area already, but in terms of doing a major push in this area it'll be once they solve the political questions involving the judiciary." Asked about any timeframe for resolution of judiciary issues, Boucher said. "it is up to them (Pakistanis) how they're going to solve this issue." He added, "There are other institutions, I think, that we can readily work with -- including more local levels of the justice system and police and things like that," referring to US cooperation in strengthening the country's institutions.