Following Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s proposal for “conditional” talks with India, the United States has expressed its support for direct dialogue between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. The bilateral relations between Pakistan and India have been tense, with diplomatic ties downgraded in 2019 after India revoked the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir, a disputed region also claimed by Pakistan.

In response to Sharif’s willingness to resume dialogue, US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized that the US has consistently advocated for direct talks between India and Pakistan on matters of concern. The longstanding US position underscores the importance of dialogue to address the issues between the two nations.

The animosity between India and Pakistan has been rooted in historical conflicts over Kashmir, leading to three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947. India accuses Pakistan of supporting armed rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir, while Pakistan denies such allegations and maintains that it provides only diplomatic support for the region’s struggle for self-determination.

With the ongoing hostility and past wars causing adverse effects on both nations, Sharif urged a forward-looking approach, emphasizing that war is not a viable option. He highlighted the need to address serious matters through dialogue, recognizing the detrimental impact of ongoing animosity on the well-being of their people and the prevalence of poverty in the region. The proposal for talks signals a willingness to explore diplomatic solutions to longstanding disputes and build a path towards stability and cooperation.

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