US bats for India-Pak dialogue to solve prickly issues

The US statement comes days after India rejected Pakistan's proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir
India - Pakistan : For representational purposes only

As India and Pakistan engage in a war of words on Kashmir and Balochistan, the United States has stressed that a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan is good for them and the region. In order to bring about a thaw in the ties between the two arch rivals, the US has voiced support to meetings at any level between the two countries.

“We strongly support all efforts between India and Pakistan that can contribute to a more stable and prosperous region, and that includes meetings at any level between Indian and Pakistani officials,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

“Our longstanding position has always been that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from a normalisation of relations and practical cooperation, and so we would be encouraged that India and Pakistan continue to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions,” he said on Monday.

The State Department’s statement came days after India rejected Pakistan’s proposal to hold Foreign Secretary-level talks on Kashmir and asserted that it would like to discuss aspects related to cross-border terrorism which are central to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Responding to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s invitation, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on August 17 expressed his willingness to travel to Islamabad but maintained Pakistan has no locus standi in addressing any aspect of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is an internal matter of India, except to put an end to cross-border terrorism and infiltration.