India-Pakistan peace process welcomed by US, UN

RSTV Bureau
Islamabad: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj greets Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz looks on at the Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process in Islamabad on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. Photo - PTI

Islamabad: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj greets Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz looks on at the Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in Islamabad on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.
Photo – PTI

A day after India and Pakistan decided to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the US have welcomed the decision.

“We always welcome the efforts by the leaders of India and Pakistan to resolve any of their differences bilaterally through negotiations and we hope that that proceeds,” Ban’s deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told PTI in UK.

Not just the UN, the US also welcomed the resumption of the dialogue process.

“We want to see the discussions continue, so we’re encouraged by the recent dialogue between India and Pakistan. It’s exactly what we’ve been strongly trying to encourage,” US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said.

However, the US has also said that both India and Pakistan should mutually decide on the pace and scope of such talks.

“It is for India and Pakistan to bilaterally work out the issues between them and to continue to have a dialogue and to discuss and to reach diplomatic solutions to some of the thorny problems which the two countries still face…We would leave it to those countries to determine who’s going to have what meeting and who’s going to sit in on what discussion,” ” Kirby said.

On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and held talks with his advisor Sartaj Aziz.

A joint statement was issued by both the leaders post their talks which said that India and Pakistan will have a ‘comprehensive bilateral dialogue’ which includes peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir and confidence-building measures.

The two sides also decided that the NSAs (National Security Advisors) of both countries will continue to address all issues related to terror. They will have a key role to play in terror-talks.

In the statement, Sushma also said that India was sufficiently assured by Pakistan that the 26/11 trial will be expedited in their country and those behind the attacks, including alleged mastermind, LeT chief Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi will be prosecuted.

Sushma Swaraj is likely to make a statement in the Parliament soon, giving more details of the meeting. But it is also clear that so far cricketing ties between India and Pakistan haven’t yet been given a green signal.

(With inputs from PTI)