Notwithstanding the perceived setback in the aftermath of the Mumbai blasts, the US has said it will “continue to encourage” India-Pakistan dialogue for cooperation and regional stability.
“We hope the progress in India-Pakistan relations is not lost and that they find opportunities to cooperate, to cooperate against terrorist groups, to cooperate in stabilising the region,” Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said during an interaction with foreign journalists. Stating it is for the two countries to decide how to proceed, he said, “Our outlook remains that India-Pakistan cooperation is important for the region and we hope they will find ways to continue it in the future.”
Asked if the US felt Pakistan wasn’t doing enough to stop infiltration into J&K, Boucher said, “The fight against terrorism is a tough one. We all have to do more. We all have to make sure terrorists are now allowed to operate, not allowed to prosper, not allowed to find sanctuary.”
When a Pakistani journalist sought to know if the US had come across any evidence suggesting that Pakistan or Pakistani-based groups were behind the Mumbai blasts, the official said, “I know there’s speculation. That happens in these cases. But I think we need to be led by evidence before we start trying to draw conclusions and make policy pronouncements on it.”