“United States welcomes the joint statement between India and Pakistan, that the two countries have agreed to maintain strict observance of a ceasefire along the Line of Control starting on February 25,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said. “This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia, which is in our shared interest and we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress.”
Asked if Islamabad is doing enough in the fight against terrorism, she said it is for the state department or the intelligence department to do an assessment of that.
State department spokesperson Ned Price said Pakistan had an important role to play regarding Kashmir, Afghanistan and other areas of interest.
“Well, Pakistan is an important partner with whom we share many interests,” he said. “We, as I said, have been clear in terms of this issue. Obviously, Pakistan has an important role to play when it comes to Afghanistan and what takes place across its other border. So, clearly, we will be paying close attention, and we urge the Pakistanis to play a constructive role in all of these areas of mutual interest, including in Afghanistan, including with Kashmir, including with our other shared interests.”
In response to a question on the US role, if any, in brokering the agreement between India and Pakistan, Price made no references but noted that reduction in tensions and a condemnation of cross-border terror as well as a dialogue on Kashmir and other issues.
“I think what I can say and what you’ve heard me say from this podium and others from this administration say is that we had called on the parties to reduce tensions along the Line of Control by returning to that 2003 ceasefire agreement,” he said. “We have been very clear that we condemn the terrorists who seek to infiltrate across the Line of Control.”
United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres, too, welcomed the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan. “He hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue,” a UN spokesperson said.