US reiterate call for Pakistan, India to cooperate in fighting terrorism


WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (APP): The United States on Tuesday reiterated call  for Pakistan and India to have greater collaboration in fighting terrorism, saying it was good both for the region as well as for Washington.

“We would encourage greater dialogue and counter terrorism cooperation  between both Pakistan and India. We’ve said that many times. It’s for the good of both countries; it’s for the good of the region. Frankly, it’s for the benefit of the United States,” US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said at a regular briefing.

Asked to comment on Pakistan’s offer for “conflict talks”, the spokesman  said that it is important for the two countries to have greater collaboration and dialogue “and we would encourage any effort in that regard”.

Pakistan last week offered to India for a bilateral arrangement on
non-testing of nuclear weapons. Pakistan had, after the 1998 test, proposed to India simultaneous adherence to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but it did not elicit a favorable response.

A foreign office spokesman, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said that  in the larger interest of peace and stability in the region, and in the global context, Pakistan has indicated the possibility that the two countries may consider a bilateral arrangement, which is reflective of its policy of promoting restraint and responsibility in South Asia and its consistent support for the objectives of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

“The bilateral non-testing arrangement, if mutually agreed, could become  binding immediately without waiting for the entry into force of the CTBT at the international level,” the spokesman said.

On Monday, a State Department spokesperson stated that the United States  support all positive steps that India and Pakistan can take to forge closer relations, calling for finding a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir dispute.

Reiterating US position on Kashmir, the spokesperson said that it was
for Pakistan and India to decide on the pace, scope and the character of any discussions regarding Kashmir.