Pakistan has welcomed the US offer to help de-escalate tensions across the border with India, saying "any positive role" by the Americans can bring peace and stability in the region. However, India has rejected US intervention to resolve the decades-old Kashmir issue that has been at the centre of conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals.
Pakistan's comments come after US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Monday (3 April) that the Trump administration might try to ease India-Pakistan tensions and not wait until "something happens".
Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistan's envoy to Washington, termed Haley's remarks as positive.
"Any positive role that the US plays to bring peace and stability in South Asia can serve the region well," he told the Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper on Tuesday (4 April). Islamabad is interested in such efforts from the US because it "wants good neighbourly relations with India", he added.
Pakistan has expressed its support for third-party mediation several times and is known to have never missed an opportunity to raise the issue at various UN forums. However, India has consistently been ruling out any such role for the US or the UN.
Delhi reiterated its view, saying Kashmir was a bilateral issue and it would try to ease Indian-Pakistan tensions in an environment free of terror and violence.
Gopal Baglay, spokesperson for India's external affairs ministry, suggested that the international community prod Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, the Times of India reported.
She had not clearly stated what steps the US would take in the matter. But a US State Department spokesperson explained to Dawn the US position on talks between the two South Asian countries.
"We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation. We encourage India and Pakistan to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions," the spokesperson said. "The normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India is vital to both countries and the region. Steps that initiate closer regional economic ties can also create jobs, lower inflation and increase energy supply."