New Delhi - India yesterday downplayed the reference to Kashmir in a Pakistan-US joint statement, affirming its commitment to resolve issues with Pakistan bilaterally and welcomed the focus on terror networks in the statement.

Asserting that the statement devotes considerable space to the issue of terrorism and that it was for the first time that LeT and Haqqani network are specifically mentioned in it, spokesperson in the Indian External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said India also read the assurance about these two entities and terrorism in general offered by Pakistan. "We hope that they deliver on these commitments," he said, reported PTI.

When asked about India's reaction on the joint statement, the spokesperson said, "Let me make it clear that India has always desired resolution of all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally through dialogue and peaceful means.

"It is Pakistan which has chosen terrorism as the instrument of state policy. We hope that this visit conveys a clear message to Pakistan that international community is deeply concerned about its support and sponsorship of terrorists."

The US-Pakistan joint statement which was issued during Sharif's visit to Washington said, "The two leaders expressed concern over violence along the Line of Control, and noted their support for confidence-building measures and effective mechanisms that are acceptable to both parties."

"The leaders emphasised the importance of a sustained and resilient dialogue process between the two neighbours aimed at resolving all outstanding territorial and other disputes, including Kashmir, through peaceful means and working together to address mutual concerns of India and Pakistan regarding terrorism," the statement further added.