US welcomes thaw in India-Pakistan relations

RSTV Bureau
FILE: 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

FILE: 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

US administration has praised the recent efforts by India and Pakistan to ease tension by working together to address the difficult and complicated issues. Welcoming the mutual initiative to defrost the tension between the two, US has said that the leaders of India and Pakitsan now appear to be “genuinely interested” in fostering greater understanding among them.

“We continue to welcome efforts by India and Pakistan to work bilaterally to solve these very difficult, complicated issues. And so that they have started to do that,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told the press in Washington on Monday.

Adding that US encourage the recent development between the two sides, Kirby said that leaders of India and Pakistan “appear to be genuinely interested in fostering greater understanding between the two countries, that’s welcome”.

On being sought reaction on the reported direction by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his ministers not to make anti-India statements, John Kirby said “there’s always a balance to be struck here”.

Washington: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State John Kerry during  India-US Strategic & Commercial Dialogue at the US State Depertment in Washington DC, September 22, 2015. Photo - PTI

FILE: Washington: File photo of Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State John Kerry during India-US Strategic & Commercial Dialogue at the US State Depertment in Washington DC, September 22, 2015.
Photo – PTI

The State Department spokesperson also said that for more than a decade now, the US has been talking with Pakistan on terrorist safe havens.

“We’ve been crystal clear for well over a decade now, bilaterally with Pakistan, about our concerns about terrorism in the region, to include the safe havens that we know terrorist organisations have along that spine between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said adding, “We don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t see eye to eye on the threat of terrorism since so many Pakistani citizens and Pakistani soldiers have fallen victim to it”.

Indo-Pak ties had plummeted off-late with incessant ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) by Pakistan security forces and cancellation of NSA-level talks between Ajit Doval and Sartaj Aziz late in August.

However, earlier this month, after the visit to Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, India and Pakistan announced a mutual engagement in a “comprehensive” dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from the PTI)