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The US would welcome “productive and peaceful relationship” between India and Pakistan, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday, but made it clear that the pace, scope, and character of any dialogue was a matter for the two countries to determine.

Miller made the statement while responding to a question from a Pakistani journalist on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message of congratulations to the newly-elected Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on taking the oath of office for his second term.

“We, of course, welcome the (Indian) prime minister’s statement. The United States values its relationship with both India and Pakistan, and we want to see them have a productive and peaceful relationship,” Miller told his daily news briefing.

“We would welcome productive and peaceful talks between India and Pakistan, but the pace, scope, and character of any dialogue is a matter for India and Pakistan to determine,” he said in response to another question.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi congratulated his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif on taking his oath on Monday.

The relations between the two neighbours deteriorated in 2019 after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.

To yet another question, Miller stated that the investigation into the assassination attempt on a Sikh activist in the US involving the Indian government was still ongoing, despite a lapse of five months since the assassination attempt,

“My understanding is the investigation is on-going,” he added.