It is upto India, Pak to determine ways to improve ties : US

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Washington, May 30 (ANI): While ruling out any mediation between both India and Pakistan, the United States has reiterated that it is upto the two countries only to determine ways to improve relationship between them.

Interacting with media persons during a briefing on the US-India Strategic Dialogue which would be held in Washington from June 1 to 4, South and Central Asia Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said Washington has always wanted better ties between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"The US is ready to help the two friends towards better relations. We have consistently said that it is up to India and Pakistan to determine how to improve their relations," The Daily Times quoted Blake, as saying.

Blake said the Obama administration has been pestering Pakistan to come down hard on India centric extremist organisations to pave the way for an improved relationship between both South Asian neighbours.

"On Pakistan, I'm sure it will be a topic of discussion at the inaugural US-India strategic dialogue here next week. Those are very important opportunities to try to expand relations and to reduce some of the frictions between these two friends of the United States," Blake told reporters while responding to a question that what the US is doing to rein in Pakistan to allay India's concerns about cross border terrorism.

"And the United States has consistently called for greater action on the part of Pakistan to stop the activities of these groups," he added.

Blake said that between 2004 and 2007, Pakistan did a considerable work against the terror mechanism, which laid the foundation for a significant improvement in relationship between India and Pakistan.

"So we'd like to see these two friends get back on that same course again. But one of the first things that has to happen is for there to be visible progress in stopping this," he said.

He also pointed out that President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have time and again stressed that these terror groups were operating together as a syndicate.

"And so it's very much in Pakistan's own interest to take on these groups as well," Blake said. (ANI)

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