US says not all India-Pakistan disputes linked to terrorism
By Anwar Iqbal | 8/26/2015

WASHINGTON: Not all disputes between India and Pakistan are linked to terrorism, says the United States while urging the two neighbours to resume their formal dialogue.

National security advisers of the countries were scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Sunday but the talks were cancelled after India insisted that it would only discuss terrorism with the Pakistani delegation.

At the State Department news briefing, spokesman John Kirby did not endorse the suggestion that since the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers had agreed in the Russian town of Ufa last month that the New Delhi talks would focus on terrorism only, Pakistan breached the trust by introducing Kashmir.

`We want both nations to sit down and hammer out the issues between them. Some of them have to do with violent extremism and some of them don`t; we understand that,` he said. `But these are issues that the two parties have got to work out.

Asked if the US saw a role for itself in resolving these issues, he said the US position on Kashmir `has not changed, that this is an issue that India and Pakistan need to resolve` `When it comes to countering terrorism around the world, obviously the United States plays a role and we want everybody to play a role in that,` he said. `But when you`re asking me about these particular tensions, we`re disappointed that the talks didn`t occur and we would like to see them resume.

Asked if US officials had spoken to their counterparts in New Delhi and Islamabad over the cancellation of Sunday`s talks, the State Department said: `I don`t have any readouts of the conversations.

Explaining the US position on the dialogue process, he said: `The issues are important; we recognise that. The tensions in the region are significant; we recognise that.

And we believe it`s important for leaders of both countries to resume this dialogue and discussion and to try to come to some resolution.

Asked about the possibility of talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Indian and Pakistani counterparts during the UN General Assembly session next month, Mr Kirby declined to give a definitive answer.

`I think you can expect that his dance card will be pretty full,` he said.

`He`ll have a very ambitious agenda of meetings and discussions. And as to whether or not the leaders of India and Pakistan will use the opportunity to further discuss, I`d point you to them,` Mr Kirby said.

Published in Dawn