ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has asked the United States to press India to respond to the goodwill gestures as Islamabad has released 100 Indian fishermen, officials said on Sunday.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Washington is convinced Pak-India talks were vital for regional stability.

“We have told them (the US) that India is not responding to goodwill gestures by Pakistan. Peace will only come through bilateral actions. The release of Indian prisoners is aimed at defusing tension,” one official said, citing recent contacts with the US counterparts.

Another official said that the US had assured Pakistan to play its role to calm down India. “The US understands our point of view and has assured to help,” he added.

The US has been calling upon Pakistan and India to show restraint to ensure peace in the region. The US is also interested in Pak-India peace as it negotiates with the Afghan Taliban for a power sharing formula.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Islamabad from April 5 to 6 to continue discussions with the Pakistani civilian and military leadership on the status of the Afghanistan peace process. 

Khalilzad met with Foreign Minister Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, and Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa. In his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad thanked the Pakistani leaders for their assistance in facilitating the travel of the Taliban’s negotiating team. 

“Both sides discussed how peace in Afghanistan will also benefit Pakistan and can unlock opportunities for regional economic integration and development.  The United States looks to Pakistan to continue playing a positive role in supporting the peace process,” said a US embassy statement issued after his visit.