United States reiterated that the US and India are global strategic partners, and the US supports constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan.
United State Department Ned Price said in a press briefing on March 9, 2023, that the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan can be resolved by constructive dialogue and diplomacy.
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Skipping the SCO
India and Pakistan are both permanent members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). SCO is one of the few functioning multilateral forums that has seen participation from both countries, unlike SAARC, which appears dead in the water.
The meeting of the Chief Justice of the SCO member nations is scheduled for New Delhi from March 10–12, 2023. Pakistan decided to skip the meeting of the chief justices of SCO countries.
No other member state of the SCO is skipping the meeting of chief justices except Pakistan. All other members of the SCO, including new entrant Iran, will be attending the Chief Justice’s meeting in person, scheduled for New Delhi.
The Chief Justices of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and China will attend the meeting in New Delhi. The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial, was supposed to attend the meeting. He was expected to virtually attend the meeting of the chief justice, unlike his counterpart.
However, on March 9, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan said the chief justice of Pakistan wouldn’t attend the meeting because of unavoidable commitments on the date of the scheduled meeting in New Delhi.
Dispute: Dialogue and Diplomacy
The long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan, coupled with the recalcitrant irredentism of Pakistan and state-sponsored cross-border terrorism, has made relations precarious.
On March 9, 2023, the United States Department of State reiterated that India and the US are global strategic partners. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the USA supports constructive dialogue to resolve long-standing disputes. Ned Price added that the decision, however, has to be made by the two neighboring countries themselves.
On the role of the United States as mediator, Ned Price clarified that it is not for the USA to determine the modalities of the dialogue or the mechanism by which Pakistan and India will engage with each other.
On bilateral ties with India, Ned Price reiterated the position of Washington that India is a global strategic partner of the US. The spokeswoman of the US State Department articulated the understanding of Washington vis-à-vis India and Pakistan in a press briefing while commenting on US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to India and his meeting with PM Modi.
Blood and terror
The current position of the central government that “blood and terror can’t flow together” illustrates India’s commitment to having a good bilateral relationship with its neighbors but not at the cost of cross-border terrorism.
Ever since the Indian Parliament revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, Pakistan has been demanding the restoration of the special status. Recently, India and Pakistan locked horns over the construction of hydroelectric dams on the western rivers under the Indus water treaty.
On March 8, 2023, India’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, slammed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for making baseless and politically motivated remarks. She added that the Indian delegation considered it unworthy to even respond to Pakistan’s FM remarks, which are malicious and false propaganda.
The relationship was severely strained between the two nuclear-armed nations of South Asia, post-Pulwama terror attack in February 2019 and following India’s preemptive air strikes against terrorist launchpads in Balakot.
India’s SCO Presidency
India is holding the reigns of the G20 and the SCO presidency. As the president of the SCO, India is set to host a series of events, including transport and defense minister meetings. The foreign ministers’ meeting is scheduled to be held in May 2023 in Goa, and the summit in June 2023 in Goa. Pakistan is yet to decide whether it will attend the foreign minister meeting of an SCO member state in Goa.
Santosh dutt pandey is an engineer by degree. He positively engages with events of national & international importance. The politics and political landscape of India intrigues him. He likes to read & write shayari and poem in challenging times.