WASHINGTON: The United States has once again asked Pakistan and India to resolve their outstanding difference through dialogue, according to a statement issued by the US State Department.
The US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark C. Toner told journalists at a press briefing in Washington that his country encourages the two South Asian neighbours to hold talks in order to reduce the escalating tensions.
“It’s in the interests of everyone in the region and certainly everyone in the world. So as much as there can be dialogue there, as much as there can be a reduction in tensions, we would encourage that,” said Toner.
Replying to a question about the presence of Haqqani Network in Pakistanand Pakistan’s National Security Advisor’s complete denial of the group’s presence in the country in his meeting with the German foreign minister,
Toner maintained that US recognises that there’s still a threat from such terrorist groups emanating from Pakistan.
“We want to see Pakistan take additional steps to address some of these threats. So I’ll leave it there”, the deputy spokesman summed up.
Peace talks between India and Pakistan collapsed on Saturday hours before they were scheduled to start, as the nuclear-armed rivals showed that they were unable to overcome deep-rooted mutual mistrust.
National security advisers of the countries were scheduled to meet in New Delhi last month but the talks were cancelled after India insisted that it would only discuss terrorism with the Pakistani delegation and after India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the talks would not take place if Pakistan’s NSA Sartaj Aziz did not drop plans to meet separatists from the disputed region of Kashmir.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif had agreed to the talks when they met in Russia last month.
At least 11 civilians have been killed and several others wounded on Friday during an exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani border troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and Working Boundary in Sialkot’s Charwah, Harpal, Chaprar and Sucheetgarh sectors.