US concerned over violence along LoC

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WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday voiced concern over violence along the Line of Control, after Pakistan said that unprovoked Indian shelling killed an army officer and two of its soldiers in different sectors.

“We are certainly aware of these reports. We remain concerned about violence along the line of control,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said. She was responding to a question when her attention was drawn at the daily briefing to continuing Indian aggression in the disputed Himalayan Jammu and Kashmir region.

She reiterated Washington’s call for further dialogue between the two South Asian nuclear powers.

“We understand that the governments of India and Pakistan are in contact. We continue to encourage further dialogue.”

“Our policy on Kashmir has not changed. We still believe the pace, scope and character of India and Pakistan’s dialogue (on Kashmir) is for those two countries to determine.”

The spokesperson indicated that the American diplomats in Islamabad and NewDelhi are in touch with the respective governments over the Kashmir tensions that have persisted for weeks.

“We have a very robust US presence in both of those countries and I know they remain in contact with leaders on a range of issues.”

The spokesperson would not speculate on reasons behind Indian show of aggression along the line of control, when pointed out that despite Pakistan’s emphasis on peace and restraint, India continues firing across the Line of Control.

“I don’t want to speculate on future. We certainly hope that they will engage in dialogue, and, of course they have played important roles in the process in Afghanistan as well and we are hopeful that will continue,” she remarked, when asked about fears that a persisting standoff in Kashmir could seea spillover of Pakistani-Indian tensions into Afghanistan.

Source: The News

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