WASHINGTON - Calling Pakistan a “responsible stakeholder” on security issues, the United States has said that New Delhi and Islamabad need to work on issues between them peacefully "on their own".
"Our expectation continues to be that Pakistan will be a responsible stakeholder on security issues, in particular the nuclear issue," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in response to a question from an Indian journalist who asked about the heightening tensions in the Sub-Continent and accused Pakistan of conducting a proxy war in Kashmir.
He said that US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about his concerns over the "tensions between India and Pakistan right now and our continued belief that both sides need to work these issues out peacefully and on their own." Observers noted that the US was ruling out any third party involvement.
Kirby said that the US was concerned about the growing tensions between India and Pakistan and it was precisely the reason US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week.
Kerry made a call to Nawaz Sharif soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to his Pakistani counterpart and greeted him on the eve of holy month of Ramazan.
"I talked with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding a recent increase in the tensions publicly between India and Pakistan. It's of enormous concern to all of us for all the obvious reasons," Kerry had then said.
"These are two very, very important countries playing a critical role with respect to regional interests, and it's very, very important that there be no misinterpretation or miscalculation with respect to any of the back-and-forth and the empowerment some entities might feel as a result of that," Kerry said.
David Hale, the US Ambassador-designate to Pakistan, told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, "Pakistan's relationship with India is critical to Pakistan's future. The normalisation of relations between the two countries is vital, both to them and to the region."
India and Pakistan recently exchanged sharp words after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's highly critical remarks about Pakistan during his Dhaka visit and in the wake of India's cross-border military action in Myanmar.
At the United Nations, China shot down a politically-motivated Indian move demanding action against Pakistan over the release of Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in "violation" of a resolution of the world body as it contended that India provided insufficient information.