Endorsing Indian stand on the Indo-Pak dialogue process, the US has asked Pakistan to act against the Mumbai attackers to resume talks with India.
“Pakistan would have to punish the suspects and stop cross-border terrorist attacks if it wanted the resumption of bilateral talks with India,” said Robert Blake, the new US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian affairs in an interview to the Dawn newspaper and television.
Blake said he believed India and Pakistan were not ready to discuss the Kashmir issue now when they were busy fighting extremists.
In his first interaction with the Pakistani media, Blake also showed little interest in providing nuclear energy to Pakistan on the pattern of Indo-US nuclear deal, saying that it was a “very expensive” option.
He not only rejected the possibility of offering a similar nuclear agreement to Pakistan but also said that Pakistan could not sign a bilateral nuclear agreement with other countries either.
In an answer to a question on the Balochistan issue and Afghanistan, Blake said: “We welcome what India is doing in Afghanistan. India is playing a very important role in terms of providing development assistance, building roads and infrastructure and many other things.
And Ambassador Holbrooke has addressed the issues of Balochistan and so forth and again that really is something that should be discussed between the two countries.” He said that like its predecessor, the Obama administration also believed that its relations with Pakistan were different from its ties to India.