US wants India, Pakistan discussions to continue


WASHINGTON: The US has said it was “encouraged” to see India and Pakistan revive the stalled dialogue process and wants the two countries to continue the discussions.

“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,” John Kirby, State Department Spokesman said yesterday.

He, however, said it was for the two neighbouring countries to decide on the pace and scope for 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,” Kirby said in response to a question.

“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,” he said.

When asked about the recent visit of the Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the US, Kirby said there was nothing new in it.

“They’ve been coming to visit counterparts here in the United States for quite some time, as do our military leaders go to Islamabad. Our bilateral relations with Pakistan are important,” Kirby said.

“I know they’re going to continue to be important, not just with the military but with the elected officials as well,” he said.

External Affairs Minister Swaraj arrived on a two-day visit to Pakistan on Tuesday to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference on Afghanistan.

Swaraj’s visit here came days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.

A joint statement issued after the meeting of NSAs said the talks were held pursuant to a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate meet in Paris. (AGENCIES)