Following Developments In J&K Closely: US

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US State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the State Department| AP file photo

‘Will Continue To Support Direct Dialogue Between India, Pak On Kashmir’

Washington: A day after welcoming the steps taken by New Delhi to return Jammu and Kashmir to full economic and political normalcy, the United States said on Thursday that the Biden administration will continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other areas of concern.

“We have continued to follow very closely developments in Jammu and Kashmir. Our policy towards the region has not changed. We call on all parties to reduce tensions along the Line of Control by returning to the 2003 ceasefire commitments,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at his daily news conference on Thursday.

He was responding to a question on the India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement, Price told a reporter that America’s policy towards the region has not changed.

“We condemn terrorists who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control. When it comes to how we will support that, we continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other areas of concern,” Price said when asked as to what US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is going to do to ensure or try to ensure that the ceasefire announced between India and Pakistan is maintained.

The comments by Price followed a joint statement issued after a hotline discussion between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan on February 25 during which the two sides agreed to strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors.

India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over the past several years.

India last month said that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

“Our position is well-known. India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said. “The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment,” he said in New Delhi.

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Press Trust of India

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