US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday has made it clear that it is for India and Pakistan to decide about resumption of dialogue between the two sides and there will be no pressure on Indian government from Washington. In the meanwhile, another key US official has termed joint Indo-Pak resolution at sidelines of NAM as “an important step towards the stability in the region”.
“The US is very supportive of all efforts in the fight against terrorism. At the same time, we are not going to in any way pressurise to restart (Indo-Pak) dialogue as it is for these two sovereign governments to decide,” Clinton told reporters in Mumbai.
As far resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue is concerned, she said, “This is an issue to be addressed and it is for India to decide what is best for its people.”
“We have made it clear that US respects India’s decision,” she said.
Clinton affirmed that her government is committed to the fight against terrorism.
“We expect everyone with whom we have relations to take strong action to prevent terrorism from taking roots on their soil,” she said, without naming Pakistan.
In the meantime, US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J Crowley has said that the joint resolution signed between India and Pakistan on the sidelines of NAM is “an important step towards the stability in the region”.
“The meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh and the statement between the Indian leader and the Pakistani leader in terms of cooperation on terrorism (is) vitally important to stability in the region,” he told reporters.
He said that the Obama Administration recognises that it was ultimately greater integration among the countries in the region, working on common challenges, regional challenges, finding new structures to be able to expand this cooperation.
“That will be how the region ultimately overcomes the challenges that it’s facing,” Crowley said.
After the announcement of Af-Pak policy in late March, he said that the US has been engaged in diplomacy with the two countries. Besides travelling to India now, US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton would be visiting Pakistan later this year.
Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke will be departing Washington early next week for stops in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, as well as Brussels, Belgium, Crowley said.
“So, I think in the first six months of the Obama Administration, obviously, not only is the Secretary and the President focused on these, but you have, through Richard Holbrooke and others within the State Department, intensive focus on the challenge in South Asia,” he said.
“We recognise that it is ultimately greater integration among these countries, working on