Despite having multifaceted relationships with India and Pakistan, the US does not want to see a “war of words” between the two nations, but rather a constructive dialogue for their people’s benefit.
The Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan have often strained relations between India and Pakistan.
“We have a global strategic partnership with India. I have also spoken about the strong partnership we have with Pakistan. These relationships, in our minds, are not zero-sum. When asked about the recent outburst by Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said “we do not view them in relation to one another.”
In addition to promoting and pursuing shared goals with India and Pakistan, each of these relationships is indispensable to the US.
As we have partnerships with both countries, we do not want to see a war of words between them. There is much work that we can do bilaterally together,” Price responded to the question. We want to see a constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan. We believe that’s in the best interests of the Pakistani and Indian people.
“There are differences between India and Pakistan that, of course, must be resolved, and the United States stands ready to assist both,” he said.
In August 2019, India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories.
Bhutto-Zardari attacked Prime Minister Modi and the RSS last week after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the UN Security Council that the “contemporary epicentre of terrorism” continues to be active and called for collective action to fight it.
Although Jaishankar did not mention any countries, it was clear that he was referring to Pakistan.
Afterwards, he told reporters in New York that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism and recalled US President Hillary Clinton’s blunt warning to Islamabad in 2011 that snakes kept in one’s backyard would eventually bite those who kept them.
There is no zero-sum relationship between the US and India; these relationships stand on their own.
We see the necessity of maintaining valuable partnerships with both our Indian and Pakistani friends as indispensible. Moreover, each of these relationships is multifaceted,” Price said.
“So, even as we deepen our global strategic partnership with India, we also have a relationship where we can be candid and frank with each other. If we disagree or have concerns, we voice them as we do with our Pakistani friends,” he said.
In response to another question, Price said countries around the world welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s statement this summer that the era of war is over.
I think it’s noteworthy that the communique issued by the G20 also had very similar language – a testament to the fact that this was language and a call that resonated with the people in this country, in South Asia, in Europe, and around the globe. “We welcome it,” he said. A top US official said that India has a different relationship compared to the United States. During that time, Price said, Russia was willing to partner with India in a way that the US was not.
It is a bipartisan legacy of the last several administrations, perhaps most notably that of former US President George W Bush, that the US has become India’s “first resort” partner.
I think we will see a good example of that in the coming year when India hosts the G20, not only for our two countries, but around the world.
We will have the opportunity to travel to India, to be in close contact with India during the G20, and we will be able to see how collaboration between our two countries and others can be beneficial,” Price said.
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