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March 5, 2021

US says backs Pak-India direct talks on Kashmir

Top Story

March 5, 2021

WASHINGTON: The United States (US) Wednesday said it “continues to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern”.

Commenting on the Biden administration's foreign policy towards Pakistan and India, the State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, said the US had important relationship with both India and Pakistan. "These relationships stand on their own in our view. They are not a zero-sum proposition when it comes to US foreign policy.

“We have productive, constructive relations, and productive and constructive relationships with one does not detract from the relationship we have at the other. It does not come at the expense, at the relationship we have with the other," the spokesperson added.

He reiterated that the US had important shared interests in the region and it would continue to work closely with the Pakistani authorities on those shared interests. Responding to a question about the human rights situation after India revoked Kashmir's special status, the spokesperson said the US policy had not changed and it continues to follow developments closely.

"We welcome steps to return the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to full economic and political normalcy consistent with India's democratic values," he said adding that Secretary Blinken has had a couple of opportunities to speak to his Indian counterpart, both bilaterally and in the context of the issue.