United States welcomes Indo-Pak ceasefire pact
The United States on Thursday called upon Pakistan to play a “constructive role” in the region, especially across the border in Kashmir and in Afghanistan on its west, in the backdrop of the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) and growing calls from American experts for a re-set in US-Pakistan ties.
The United States welcomed the India-Pakistan joint statement – released on Thursday — committing to a ceasefire along the LoC with Ned Price, spokesperson of the state department, saying: “We encourage continued efforts to improve communication between the two sides and to reduce tensions and violence along the Line of Control.”
Asked about the trajectory of the relationship between the US and Pakistan under President Joe Biden, Price said Pakistan has an “important role to play” in bringing peace to Afghanistan. He added: “So, clearly we will be paying close attention, and we urge Pakistanis to play a constructive role in all of these areas of mutual interest, including in Afghanistan, including with Kashmir, including with our other shared interests.”
The Biden administration’s highest-level contact with the Pakistani government thus far has been between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi — they spoke the same day as Blinken and external affairs minister S Jaishankar for the first time. US President Biden and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan have not spoken yet.
“Voices sympathetic to Pakistan in Washington are advocating a re-set of US-Pakistan relations, setting aside the bitterness of the past,” Aparna Pande, a South Asia expert with Hudson Institute, a think tank, wrote in a recent piece. But, she added: “Americans should be wary of plans that draw the US back into embracing Pakistan or depending on it. Pakistan is now China’s closest ally and its overtures to the US are designed only to evade the consequences of its anti-American conduct.”