March 2: The United States and Pakistan have emphasised the need for dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue and called on “all parties” in the region “to act with maximum restraint”.
“The US and Pakistan emphasised the importance of meaningful dialogue in support of peaceful resolution of outstanding issues, including Kashmir,” said a US-Pakistan joint statement, issued a day after the two countries concluded their sixth Strategic Dialogue.
The dialogue was co-chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz.
“The delegations underscored that all parties in the region should continuously act with maximum restraint and work collaboratively toward reducing tensions,” the joint statement said.
“Noting the steps taken by Pakistan to date, including the detention of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Maulana Masood Azhar, the US appreciated PM Sharif’s stated commitment to take prompt and decisive action on this investigation and to bring the perpetrators of the January 2, 2016 attack on the Pathankot air base to justice,” it said.
However, there was no mention of India in the entire joint statement, in which the US acknowledged Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to harmonise its strategic trade controls with those of the multilateral export control regimes.
The US also lauded Pakistan’s “proactive engagement” with the international community, including through its hosting of IAEA training activities at its Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence and its active participation in the Nuclear Security Summits, it said.
The US looked forward to Sharif’s participation in the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit and appreciated Pakistan’s commitment, in principle, to ratify the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
According to the joint statement, Pakistan affirmed that it remains committed to pursuing measures aimed at building confidence and lessening the risk of armed conflict.
Both sides recognised the shared interest in strategic stability in South Asia and in pursuing increased transparency. The two sides look forward to the upcoming Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) working group meeting in May 2016, it said.
During the strategic dialogue, both countries reaffirmed their commitment to countering terrorism including by targeting all terrorists without discrimination.
Aziz affirmed Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including al-Qaida, the Haqqani Network, and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force.
The two countries committed to continue promoting peace, stability, and transparency in the region and to eliminate the threats posed by violent extremism and terrorism.