he United Arab Emirates’ envoy to Washington confirmed the Gulf state is mediating between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed rivals reach a “healthy and functional” relationship.
Top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, people with knowledge of the matter had told Reuters.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said in a virtual discussion with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on Wednesday that the UAE played a role “in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully ultimately leading to restoring diplomats and getting the relationship back to a healthy level”.
“They might not sort of become best friends but at least we want to get it to a level where it’s functional, where it’s operational, where they are speaking to each other,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
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Ties between India and Pakistan have been frozen since a suicide bombing on CRPF convoy in Pulwama in 2019.
Otaiba as per Reuters said that Pakistan should play a helpful role in Afghanistan, where the United States plans to start withdrawing U.S. troops on May 1 to end America’s longest war.
The Emirati official voiced concern that an abrupt U.S. withdrawal would constitute “reverse progress” by serving the interests of “the more illiberal forces” in Afghanistan.
“The question is if the three parties (the U.S., Taliban and Afghan government) can reach an agreement that they can all live with,” Otaiba said.
“It’s hard for us to see a way to stabilise Afghanistan without Pakistan playing a helpful role,” he added.