UNITED STATES: In light of not changing its policy on Kashmir, the U.S. has said that it does not view its relationships with India and Pakistan as a “zero-sum proposition”. It has also welcomed New Delhi’s steps to return the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir back to its full economic and political normalcy consistent with India’s democratic values.
During a conference, on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the U.S. policy on Kashmir has not changed.
The Quad, which comprises India, the U.S., Australia, and Japan, aims at ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific, a region that has been a victim of increasing Chinese military assertiveness in recent years.
Price added that the U.S. has important relationships with India, as well as Pakistan. “These relationships stand on their own in our view,” he said.
Price also highlighted that the U.S. has “productive and constructive relations” with Indian and Pakistan and that the relationship with one does not detract from the relationship with the other. The global power’s relations with both countries do not come at the expense of the relationship the U.S. holds with either.
With respect to India, Price said that the U.S. has a global comprehensive strategic partnership with the country. On the other hand, they also said that with Pakistan, they have important shared interests in the region, hence they look forward to working closely with the Pakistani authorities on the shared interests.
Extending support, Price also said that the U.S. will continue the direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern. “Of course, we’ve continued to call for a reduction of tensions along the Line of Control (LoC), returning to that 2003 ceasefire,” he said.
On February 25, India and Pakistan had announced that they had come to a consensus to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.