During virtual call, representatives of both countries also discuss bilateral ties, Afghanistan peace process
Pakistan on Tuesday urged the United States to pay its role in de-escalating tensions with neighboring India.
Participating in a virtual call, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ambassador David Hale exchanged views on peace and stability in South Asia. The foreign secretary highlighted India’s “illegal and unilateral” actions of Aug. 5, 2019 when Delhi abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. He also stressed the ongoing human rights violations in India-held Kashmir; the attempts to change the disputed territory’s demographic structure; and intensified ceasefire violations along the Line of Control dividing Kashmir between Pakistan and India.
Mahmood warned that India’s military siege in India-held Kashmir, and its aggressive posturing against Pakistan, posed a threat to peace and security. “It was imperative to take steps to prevent escalation of tensions and to facilitate peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he added.
Both sides also discussed the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan, with the foreign secretary reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned procedure. He said Islamabad hoped Kabul would “seize this historic opportunity” and secure an inclusive and comprehensive political solution through intra-Afghan negotiations.
Referring to the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship, Mahmood and Hale reviewed its current trajectory and future direction. The foreign secretary said Pakistan attached high priority to its relationship with the U.S. and wanted to enhance economic engagement and people-to-people contacts. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire to forge a strong and mutually beneficial economic partnership with the Unites States.
According to the Foreign Office, the foreign secretary added that a broad-based and enduring partnership between the two countries, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump, would help stabilize the region.
Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington Asad Majeed Khan and U.S. Chargé d’affaires in Islamabad Ambassador Paul Jones were also present on the call, along with senior officials of both countries.
Also on Tuesday, the foreign secretary met outgoing Afghan ambassador Atif Mashal and reiterated Islamabad’s steadfast support for Kabul’s peace and reconciliation process. He said Pakistan was committed to enhancing bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan.