India, Pak appear interested in boosting understanding: US

December 23, 2015 6:22 am 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 — Welcoming the recent effort by India and Pakistan to revive talks, the US has said leaders of the two countries 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 reporters at his daily news conference.

"…(leaders of India and Pakistan) appear to be genuinely interested in fostering greater understanding between the two countries, that's welcome," he said yesterday, adding that the US continues to encourage that.

When asked about reported direction by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his ministers not to make anti-India statements, Kirby said "there's always a balance to be struck here. And without having more detail about his comments or the context in which they were made, I'd really be loath to go further than that".

He 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.

"So look, this is a relationship that remains vital to us. 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," Kirby said.

He added that "whether it is in this country or many other countries around the world, to see that terrorism remains a real and challenging threat that it behooves everybody to try to get their hands around".

Breaking the logjam in their ties earlier this month, India and Pakistan announced that they have decided to engage in a "comprehensive" dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir. (PNA/PTI)

RMA/SSC

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