US stresses need for direct talks between Pakistan, India – Newspaper

WASHINGTON: The United States has informed a group of Muslim organizations that continues to support direct talks between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other matters.

A delegation from the Council of Muslim Organizations of the United States (USCMO) met with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of State for Pakistan Affairs, Ervin Massinga, in Washington this week and expressed concern about the situation caused by the India's decision of August 5 to annex Kashmir.

They are also believed to have urged the United States to play a role in easing tensions between the two neighbors with nuclear weapons from South Asia, India and Pakistan.

Representatives of Muslim bodies meet with the State Department official

In a tweet published Friday afternoon, the Assistant Secretary of State for the United States, Alice G. Wells, said Massinga transmitted the position of the United States to the Muslim delegate, stating that Washington will continue to emphasize the need for India and Pakistan peacefully solve this problem.

"The United States continues to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern, a message highlighted at the recent meeting of Deputy Assistant Secretary Massinga with the USCMO leadership," said Ms. Wells wrote.

Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated rapidly after August 5 when Modi withdrew special autonomy for the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan strongly condemned the Indian action and promised to continue providing moral and political support to the people of Kashmir.

However, US support for bilateral talks is unlikely to solve the problem due to India's stubborn attitude in its disputes with Pakistan.

In a recent joint briefing with US President Donald Trump in France, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged that there were "many bilateral problems between India and Pakistan." But when asked to comment on President Trump's offer to help resolve the Kashmir dispute, Modi said "we don't want to bother any third country since we can discuss and resolve these problems bilaterally."

He said that India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and was "sure we can discuss our problems and solve them together."

But India refuses to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan, saying there could be no talks as long as the terrorist attacks within India continue.

New Delhi also rejects Pakistan's security that it will not allow any terrorist group to use its territory to carry out attacks inside or outside the country. Islamabad says that the last attack in Kashmir occupied by India was locally motivated, but India disagrees, without sharing any evidence supporting its claim to Pakistan's participation.

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior Pakistani officials warned that India can use the false accusation of terrorism to further aggravate the situation.

Posted on Dawn, September 8, 2019



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