India, Pak should engage with each other: US

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Washington, Jan 11: The USA has stressed that India and Pakistan should engage with each other more, instead of looking for a third party to mediate. Washington said this while Islamabad sought a third-party intervention in the ongoing border skirmish issue and India ruling out any such possibility.

State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said both the Asian neighbours were making good progress in recent times by working through various difficult issues, including trade. She said if the two countries could reach an agreement on the border issue as well, it would be the best outcome. Washington was clearly trying to avoid Pakistan's bait to get involved in the problem.

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It can be mentioned here that the US and Pakistan are going through perhaps the worst phase in bilateral relations. New Delhi, on the other hand, is enjoying a good term with Washington owing to several reasons, including geostrategic and economic.

Nuland said if both the countries wanted support from the UN, there would be no problem in backing such demand, but still it would be best if they talk to each other and find out a settlement.

Nuland said secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who recently joined work following an ill heath, had instructed US Ambassadors in both India and Pakistan to work closely with the respective national governments. She, however, declined to go into the details of the reported beheading of an Indian soldier by the Pakistani troops in Kashmir earlier this week.

Observers of international politics believe that Pakistan's latest tussle with India is part of the strategy to divert attention from its chaotic western regions and the weaknesses of a fragile central administration. Officials in Washington are apprehensive about Pakistan's potential role in aggravating US misery in Afghanistan and also about a probable collapse of the nuclear Islamabad. Amid all the talks, Washington has continued with its Drone attacks on Pakistani soil to destroy the terror networks.

According to former American intelligence analyst Bruce Riedel, Washington's intelligence community's fresh estimates believe that Pakistan is one of those states in the world that are most likely to crumble by 2030. He also pointed out that three of the USA's five most-wanted terrorists live in Pakistan. He also said how Lashkar-e-Taiba head and the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks Hafeez Saeed openly declares jihad against India, the US and Israel.

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