Indo-Pak tensions: US won’t play mediator
Much to the disliking of Pakistan, the US said that it does not intend to play the role of a mediator in the conflict with India. While President Donald Trump's new South Asia Strategy focuses on reducing tensions between India and Pakistan, there is no intention of playing the role of a mediator.
Alice G Wells, the acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, told lawmakers that the Trump administration is increasingly concerned about the threat to strategic stability in South Asia associated with the introduction of new nuclear capable ballistic or cruise missile systems in the region.
"The South Asia strategy also focuses on reducing tensions between Pakistan and India+ ," she told lawmakers yesterday during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan and Pakistan held jointly by House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees for Middle East and North Africa, and Asia and Pacific.
She said the US does not seek a role as a mediator between India and Pakistan, but encourages both countries to restart dialogue+ at the earliest opportunity.
"An improved relationship between these two countries is critical to regional security and stability," Wells said.
"In particular, the region and the world looks to both Pakistan and India to safeguard against a nuclear conflict in South Asia," she said.
She said the US remains concerned about Pakistan's growing fissile material stockpiles and its expanding and diversifying military nuclear and missile programmes.
Wells also voiced concern over the stability and security of the South Asia region and said the US is ready to work constructively with Pakistan against the terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e Mohammed and the Haqqani Network.
"We remain concerned about the stability and security of the region, and of Pakistan itself," she said.
"We are prepared to work constructively with Pakistan to move against these terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed," she added.
She also told lawmakers that the Trump administration values the role India can play in global security and stability as part of its shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
"We also want to work with India to counter terrorist threats. And we see significant economic and business opportunities in both countries that we intend to explore for the benefit of all of our citizens," she said.