Washington, Aug 28 (IANS) Decrying a Pakistani official’s reported remark about use of nuclear weapons against India, US has urged the two countries to continue to work together with constructive dialogue to resolve their long standing issues.
“Obviously, what we want to see are the tensions decrease,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday when asked about a Pakistani official’s reported threat to use tactical weapons against India.
“And speculation about the potential use of nuclear weapons certainly isn’t doing anything to help decrease tensions, if in fact those comments were made,” he said.
What Secretary of State John Kerry, Kirby recalled, “has said repeatedly is that he wants the two nations to continue to work together with constructive dialogue to resolve their issues.”
“And we understand that there are issues longstanding,” he said. “But that’s what really needs to happen, is sitting down, dialogue, cooperation, talking through these things, and trying to work through some meaningful solutions.”
Asked to comment on a new report by two US think tanks that Pakistan may have about 350 nuclear weapons in a decade or so, Kirby said he did not have a specific update regarding any talks with Pakistan on the nuclear issue.
“Obviously, these kinds of matters are matters we discuss with Pakistani leaders on a routine basis,” he said. “But I don’t have specific talks to talk to you about today.”
The US, Kirby said, was still “digesting” the think tank report.
“This is something, obviously, that we continue to focus on, I would say consistent with the President’s (Barack Obama) vision of a world without nuclear weapons.”
“Obviously, we continue to urge all nuclear-capable states, including Pakistan, to exercise restraint regarding furthering their nuclear capabilities,” he said.
The spokesman also praised India’s constructive role in Afghanistan and said the US would like other countries including China to play a similar role there.
“We want Afghanistan to be a good neighbour in the region, and they have many neighbours, and China and India are some of them,” Kirby said.
“And India has played a constructive role over the last several years inside Afghanistan, and we would look to other nations like China to do the same.”
“I think everybody in the international community could benefit from an Afghanistan that is secure and stable and prosperous,” Kirby said.
“And our message to the other partners is the same as it’s always been, which is we want to make sure that we’re all pulling on the same oars here to get Afghanistan to that better future.”