US moves to ease Pakistani-Indian tensions on Kashmir

United Nations' map of Jammu and Kashmir, acce...

United Nations’ map of Jammu and Kashmir, accepted by the Kashmiris and the Pakistani government (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ali Imran

WASHINGTON, Jan 12: : Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  directed U.S. ambassadors in Islamabad and New Delhi this week  to work with the two government as part of diplomatic efforts to help defuse Pakistan-India tensions, resulting from cross-LoC firing in disputed Kashmir region.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Washington has urged calm and counseled both Pakistan and India to talk to each other to sort out the tensions.
Commenting on the Pakistani proposal to have UN involvement in investigating the Line of Control incident, the spokesperson said if the two South Asian neighbors show interest in getting UN support, Washington would back such a move but at the moment the U.S. is asking them to work with each other.
Nuland spoke as both Pakistan and India accused each other of violating the ceasefire along the Line of Control in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir..
“She (Hillary Clinton) has instructed our ambassadors to work with both governments, which they are doing,” Nuland said at the daily briefing.
She reiterated U.S. concern about reports of violence along the line of control.
“It is our understanding that the governments of India and Pakistan are now talking and trying to work through these issues at a high level. We are urging both sides to take steps to end the violence.”
“We continue to strongly support any efforts to improve relations between the two countries. We have also discussed these latest incidents with both governments, urged them to talk to each and urged calm,” the spokesperson said.
“We have been counseling both governments to de-escalate to work through these issues to continue the consultations between them at a high level and we understand they are ongoing now.  Violence is not the answer for either country,” Nuland remarked.
Asked to comment on Pakistani proposal that it is open to third UN involvement in investigation into the alleged incident, the spokesperson replied:.
“Our view is that India and Pakistan have made pretty good progress in recent years in working through a number of difficult issues including opening of the trade relations etc, that they are now engaged at a high-level on these recent incidents. If they can work it out themselves that is obviously best.
“If both parties were interested in support form the UN etc we will obviously support that.  But at the moment we are urging them to talk to each other.”
 Pakistan and India have observed ceasefire along the LoC since 2003 and also taken steps to improve climate for improvement in relations but the the recent cross-LoC firing is testing the extent of progress they have made as well as the resolve of the two capitals to adhere to peace process. Kashmir is one of the oldest UN-recognized disputes and continues to be the underlying cause of tensions between the two South Asian nuclear nations.

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