Pak Foreign Min: US mediation to ease India-Pak tension is welcome

File Photo of Khwaja Asif foreign minister of Pakistan.

File Photo of Khwaja Asif, foreign minister of Pakistan.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said that his country welcomes US’ mediation in easing tension with India.

The statement from the Pakistani foreign minister came after the fourth round of Pakistan- US Track-II diplomatic talks in Islamabad.

“Pakistan welcomes mediation by the United States in easing its ties with India as Pakistan has always opted for comprehensive dialogue for peaceful neighbourhood,” Asif said while addressing the US-Pakistan Bilateral Dialogue – ‘Convergence amid Divergence: Identifying Pathways to Cooperation in a Challenging Environment’.

India has always maintained that there is no role for a third party in resolving the Kashmir issue which Pakistan says is the “core issue” in the Indo-Pak relations.

Foreign Minister Asif also said Pakistan was opposed to US President Donald Trump’s proposal which calls for a bigger role of New Delhi in war-torn Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, believes that a bigger role to India in Afghanistan would result in more chaos there.

Earlier this year, President Trump had sought bigger role for India in his new South Asia policy

The minister said that the US has assured Pakistan that New Delhi’s role in Afghanistan will be limited to economic assistance only.

Asif stressed that intelligence sharing was imperative for improving border management with Afghanistan, and urged US to share timely intelligence with Pakistan for it to take action.

“With peace and stability in Afghanistan as our ultimate goal, we have been and are ready to extend every possible cooperation to achieve that end,” he said.

Asif also said it is unfair to blame Pakistan for whatever was ailing Afghanistan.

The minister also told media that the differences in Pakistan-US bilateral relations were only misperception.

The recent high-level exchanges between the two countries have cleared the air and “we look forward to confidence building to achieve the goal of peace in the region,” said the foreign affairs minister.

(With inputs from agencies)