WASHINGTION: The United States on Tuesday came out in support for Pakistan-India cricket diplomacy and hoped that in addition to the progress on trade relations, the two South Asian rivals could now also move forward on trust building, counter-terrorism cooperation and tackling key political issues.
According to the State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, Americans generally don't know much about cricket, but they like it when Pakistan and India play each other.
"We're for cricket. We don't understand it, but we like it," Nuland said amid laughter during the daily briefing.
In the larger context of Pakistan-India relations, the State Department spokesperson said Washington shares the "interest of people in India, people in Pakistan - in seeing these two countries continuing to improve their relationship."
"We have been supportive in all of our diplomatic encounters at every level with the Indian side, with the Pakistani side in some of the progress that they've made," Nuland noted. She was appreciative that Islamabad and New Delhi have made "considerable progress" on the economic side.
"We are encouraging them to do better on issues like sharing counter-terrorism information, dealing with threats to both countries, moving forward to work on trust building and political issues, so we will continue to support dialogue between them at every level, but it's obviously up to Indians and Pakistanis to continue to work on this."
Regarding dealing with the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai bombings - that came as a setback for a five-year old South Asian peace process - and bringing people to justice, the spokesperson said, that the issue "comes up in all of our discussions with Indians and with Pakistanis."
"And we'll continue to advocate for full justice being served, not least because Americans lost their lives as well."