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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

US ‘ready to mediate’ between Pakistan, India if both sides agree

Stresses need for meaningful diplomacy between India, Pakistan to resolve longstanding conflicts
State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC, US on August 18, 2021. Reuters
State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC, US on August 18, 2021. Reuters

The Biden-led administration has said that it was ready to mediate between Pakistan and India if both sides agree. The US stressed the need for constructive dialogue to resolve longstanding conflicts.

“We are a partner. We are willing to support that process in any way that they deem appropriate, but ultimately these are decisions that India and Pakistan themselves are going to have to make,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price at the weekly press briefing on Thursday.

Price was responding to a query on a US intelligence report in which the superpower expressed concerns about the peace and security of South Asia mainly because of Pakistan-India tensions.

Pakistan has offered peace talks to India many times in the past, however, the BJP-led government has rejected that. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also asked the United Arab Emirates to facilitate talks on Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“I will speak to the message we sent to both India and Pakistan. We support constructive dialogue. We support diplomacy between India and Pakistan to resolve, again, another set of longstanding disputes,” the US State Department spokesperson said.

Islamabad suspended all bilateral trade with New Delhi after the neighbouring country scrapped the special status for occupied Kashmir in August 2019.

Later, former prime minister Imran Khan asked the-then US president Donald Trump to continue his efforts for the facilitation of a peaceful solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

In an interview with Reuters in June 2021, Imran said that Pakistan was ready to restart talks with arch-rival India if Delhi provides a roadmap towards restoring the previous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

When again pressed on the mediation query, Price reiterated that such decisions were for the countries themselves.

“If they agree on a particular role for the United States, the United States is prepared to, as a partner to both countries, support that process in any way that we responsibly can,” he said.

“But ultimately, it is not for the United States to determine the modalities or the way in which India and Pakistan engage one another. What we support is constructive dialogue, meaningful diplomacy between India and Pakistan in the first instance to resolve longstanding conflicts.”

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