The United States “continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price in a media briefing in Washington on Wednesday.
Replying to a question on Kashmir, he said the US continued to call for a reduction of tensions along the line of control and, returning to that 2003 ceasefire.
He, however, did not give a clear answer to the question on Article 370 of the Indian constitution and lockdown in Kashmir since the article’s revocation in August 2019, and whether Secretary of State Blinken raised the Kashmir issue with his Indian counterpart Jaishankar in his phone call. Price replied to the reporter: “We issued a readout of that call, so I would refer you to the readout of that conversation.”
When asked whether the Secretary of State talked about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, Price said: “We continue to follow developments in Jammu and Kashmir closely. Our policy has not changed. We welcome steps to return the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to full economic and political normalcy.”
About the relationship with Pakistan, spokesman Price said the United States has important relationships with Pakistan and India. “These relationships stand on their own in our view. They are not a zero-sum proposition when it comes to US foreign policy. We have productive, constructive relations, and productive and constructive relationships with one does not detract from the relationship we have with the other. It does not come at the expense of the relationship we have with the other,” he added.
“When it comes to India, we have a global comprehensive strategic partnership, and we’ve talked about that. When it comes to Pakistan, we have important shared interests in the region. And we will continue to work closely with the Pakistani authorities on those shared interests,” said the spokesman.