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US supports direct discussions between India, Pakistan: State Dept Spokesperson Matthew Miller

The United States said on Thursday that it supports India and Pakistan having a direct discussion with each other, but it believes the two countries should decide the pace, scope and character of the talks.

At a daily news conference on Thursday, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said that the US values its essential relationships with both — India and Pakistan.

“As we have said, we support direct discussions between India and Pakistan, but the pace, scope and character should be determined by those two countries, not by us,” he said.

Answering another question, Miller stated that the US and Pakistan both have a common goal of addressing regional security threats.

“We partner with Pakistan on security through our high-level counterterrorism dialogue, including several counterterrorism capacity building programmes, and we support a series of US-Pakistan military-to-military engagements,” said Miller.

“We are in regular communication with Pakistani leaders as a part of our partnership on CT issues, and we will continue to discuss regional security in detail, including through our annual counterterrorism dialogue and other bilateral consultations,” he added.

In April this year, Miller said that the US would urge the two neighbouring nations to avoid escalation and settle their issues through dialogue but will “not get in the middle of the situation”.

When asked about reports that Indian government agents allegedly conducted assassinations in Pakistan, Miller said, “We have been following the media reports about this issue. We don’t have any comment on the underlying allegations.”

Relations between the two countries worsened after India revoked Article 370 on August 5, 2019, removing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and splitting it into two Union Territories. Pakistan strongly reacted by downgrading diplomatic ties and expelling the Indian envoy. India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain a crucial part of the country.

India has expressed a desire for stable neighbourly relations with Pakistan in a terror-free, hostility-free, and violence-free environment.

Source: The Hindustan Times