The United States has welcomed the efforts by India and Pakistan to increase people-to-people contact and has exuded hope that such initiatives would lead to improvement in ties between the two countries. “I’m aware of reports on this Kartarpur corridor. I understand that it’s kind of a visa-free way for Indians to visit this important Sikh site. And of course, the United States would welcome efforts to increase people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan,” State department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said.Many people are of the opinion that United States can play an important role in defusing the tension between India and Pakistan and opening of Kartarpur corridor could be a beginning.Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and the president of Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting opening of Sharda Peeth in Pakistan administered Kashmir for devotees. Kashmiri leaders are of the opinion that road to peace and reconciliation passes through Kashmir and India and Pakistan should take Kashmir centric Confidence Building Measures to ease the tension between the two countries. On the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that Kashmir is the only issue between the two countries. But India has been maintaining that Kashmir is no issue and it has already been settled. Everyone, including the United States, has been asking India and Pakistan to sit on a negotiating table and sort out their differences. But the only problem is Kashmir as India doesn’t want to discuss it while Pakistan says no dialogue can take place without Kashmir. Both the countries would have to show some flexibility and go ahead and encouraging people to people contact and opening religious places could be a good beginning.
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