US says it will keep supporting Pak-India talks
WASHINGTON, July 24: The United States will continue to support dialogue between India and Pakistan at every level, says the State Department while noting that the two neighbouring countries had made considerable progress in improving economic ties.
At a news briefing in Washington, the department’s spokesperson Victoria Nuland, however, refused to comment on Pakistan’s demand to stop drones attacks in Fata, saying that she could not discuss intelligence issues.
Asked what role the US was playing to improve relations between the two South Asian nations, Ms Nuland said the United States shared the interest of people in India and Pakistan in seeing their relationship continuing to improve.
“We have been supportive in all of our diplomatic encounters at every level with the Indian side, with the Pakistani side in some of the progress that they’ve made,” she added.
The US official noted that the two countries had made “considerable progress” on the economic side and the US was now encouraging them to do better on issues like sharing counter-terrorism information, dealing with threats to both countries,
moving forward to work on trust and on political issues.
“So we will continue to support dialogue between them at every level, but it’s obviously up to Indians and Pakistanis to continue to work on this,” she said.
Responding to a question on US relations with Pakistan, Ms Nuland described the reopening of ground supply lines to Afghanistan as “good news”. She noted that during the past two weeks some 400 trucks had either crossed into Afghanistan or were getting ready to pass through. “And so that is working very well.”
The US official also welcomed the decision to resume cricket matches between India and Pakistan, hoping that it would help improve relations in other fields as well. “We’re for cricket. We don’t understand it, but we like it,” she said.
Answering a question on Mumbai terror suspects, Ms Nuland said the Mumbai shooting, its aftermath and the need for bringing people to justice were subjects that came up “in all of our discussions with Indians and with Pakistanis”.