US welcomes Pak-India dialogue for regional peace, economic integration: official

WASHINGTON: The United States has reaffirmed its support for improvement of Pakistan-India relations and said that it welcomes dialogue in all aspects of bilateral relations between the two South Asian neighbours to promote peace and economic integration in the region.

In a statement while talking to the South Asian media in Washington, the US Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said that it will be a win-win situation for both the countries if they improve their relations and promote bilateral trade.

Biswal said that the improvement in Pakistan-India relations will not only bring stability to Afghanistan but would also help the entire region. However, she made it clear that the US will only play a supportive role in encouraging India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes and would avoid a direct involvement.

The US Assistant Secretary said that there is no change in the long-held US policy that Kashmir and other issues need to be resolved in bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. She added that it is for India and Pakistan to set the pace, scope and the nature of this process.

Moreover, Biswal said that the US engagement with the Pak-Afghan region is an enduring one and it will not leave this region after 2014 as it plans to withdraw most of its troops from Afghanistan.