WASHINGTON: The United States was willing to see Pakistan and India engage in dialogue process in a bid to reduce rising tensions between the two neighbouring countries, said the US State Department on Tuesday.
Answering questions during a routine press briefing yesterday, Spokesperson for the US State Department John Kirby said, “We continue to want to see dialogue and discussion between India and Pakistan to improve cooperation, to improve communication, and improve shared efforts against a common threat.”
While commenting on the months of tension between Pakistan and India that now has erupted into shelling and gunfire across the disputed Kashmir frontier, claiming the lives of soldiers and civilians, Kirby remained non-aligned and said, “I’m not going to talk with any detail about the attacks you’re speaking of. We’re certainly aware of them.”
Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours spiralled following a deadly assault on an Indian army base in September that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
India claimed it had responded to the attack by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking fury from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.
Kashmir is one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, bitterly divided between Pakistan and India since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but claimed in full by both. The nuclear powers have already fought two wars over the mountainous region.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s outgoing military chief General Raheel Sharif had also warned India it would be dangerous to mistake his country’s “restraint” over recent tensions in disputed Kashmir for weakness, as he handed over power to his successor.