Washington: Noting that the "trust deficit" between India and Pakistan is a bilateral issue, US on Wednesday said it is "gratified" that the leaders of the two nations are moving in a direction to see that the dialogue become deeper.
However, the US did not give any hint that it was favourably considering Islamabad`s request of helping it reduce the trust deficit with India.
"The trust deficit, as it`s been called, between India and Pakistan is most significantly a bilateral issue between them. We are friends with both countries. We have strong and strengthening relationships with both countries," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters in Washington.
Crowley said the US has encouraged both Pakistan and India to enhance its dialogue in cooperation.
"We are gratified that both countries seem to be moving in a direction to see that dialogue become deeper. So we will continue to encourage both countries to pursue the commitments that both have made and pledged publicly," Crowley said.
The State Department spokesman was responding to question about a report that Pakistan has urged the US to help bridge gulf with India.
"We want the US to encourage India to take steps for improving the human rights situation in Kashmir, moving forward on Siachen and Sir Creek and agreeing to arbitration on the Kishanganga hydropower project," a senior Pakistani diplomat was quoted as saying by the popular Pakistani daily.
"The message has been conveyed by the Pakistani leadership to the Obama administration through diplomatic channels as Pakistan and India move towards the phased process worked out by their foreign ministers early this month for building trust and confidence before revival of peace talks suspended in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks," a newspaper reported.
"Our two countries do need to build mutual trust and confidence. It is, therefore, necessary that we engage each other with sincerity of purpose with a view to settling our differences and disputes and achieving peace and prosperity in the region," Pakistan`s Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said.
Pakistan is looking forward to a meaningful engagement with India for freeing bilateral relations from disputes, he added.