US persuade India to re-engage with Pakistan

US persuade India to re-engage with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: After India rejected Pakistan’s proposals for bilateral dialogues, the United States has assured that it will persuade New Delhi to pursue talks with Islamabad on all issues, including the longstanding dispute over Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.

The assurance was given by US President Barack Obama during his talk with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington DC last week, a senior official familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.

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Speaking off the record, the official added that the Obama administration will ‘privately’ convey to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that negotiations are the only way forward to deescalate tensions with Pakistan.

US persuade India to re-engage with Pakistan

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) and US President Barack Obama shake hands before a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House October 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. PHOTO : AFP

New Delhi has always been opposed to intervention from any other country on its ties with Islamabad, the most recent affirmation of which came from its External Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson soon after Nawaz’s meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

But Pakistan hopes Washington’s influence over New Delhi, owing to their strategic partnership, will once again bring the two hostile but hyphenated neighbours back to the negotiating table.

Pakistan and India have failed to hold bilateral dialogues since 2014 when the latter scuppered a scheduled meeting between their  foreign secretaries over what Nawaz termed a ‘flimsy excuse’. This year the proposed National Security Advisor-level talks were called off at the eleventh hour amid violence along the border and New Delhi’s insistence on limiting the agenda of the meeting to terrorism. Backchannel talks at the UN General Assembly in New York in late September also failed.

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