SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

WASHINGTON - As Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi exchanged letters in which they shared concern over the ongoing flood devastation, the United States said Tuesday it will support efforts that help improve relations between India and Pakistan.

“Broadly speaking, we will support any efforts between the two countries to improve the relationship, to talk about the issues directly,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told the daily press briefing.

In answer to a question about any United States’ assistance for Pakistan in flood relief, the spokesperson said she would check the latest updates but indicated the US would be ready to help, as she added “obviously, we have a number of resources (to assist), if called upon to do so.”

‘POLITICAL CRISIS LIKELY TO

AFFECT PAK-INDIA TIES’

Agencies add: The current political unrest in Pakistan could impact its relations with India as the Pakistan army is having more control over the country’s foreign policy than ever, a latest US Congressional report has said.

“The Pakistan Army’s more openly direct control of the country’s foreign and security policies may, over time, shift Islamabad’s approach toward Afghanistan further into a policy framework that seeks to counter Indian influence there,” the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report ‘Pakistan Political Unrest’ this month.

“It could also present new challenges to the goal of improving Pak-India relations, and put a damper on hopes for effective regional cooperation and commerce in South Asia,” said the Congressional report authored by Alan Kronstadt, CRS Specialist in South Asian Affairs.

Even though the protest led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has subsided, this would definitely have an adverse impact on Pak-India relationship, with the Pakistan Army having more control over it than ever, it said.