WASHINGTON: The United States said on Monday that the Kashmir dispute was different from the broader issue of terrorism in South Asia and those two issues should not be confused with each other.

“We are talking about two separate issues here. I want to make a distinction between the Kashmir issue and the broader issue of our concern about extremism in that region,” a State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told a briefing in Washington.

Responding to a question by an Indian journalist who tried to link the Kashmir issue with the terrorism practised by Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, Ms Harf said: “I will emphasise that these are two separate issues and our views on both are well-known.”

Reiterating the US position of treating Kashmir as a dispute that needs to be settled in bilateral discussions between India and Pakistan, she said: “Our position on Kashmir has not changed.”

Ms Harf said that the US was aware of recent developments in the region and continued to be concerned about any violence along the Line of Control.

“We continue to press and hope that India and Pakistan will continue the steps they have recently taken to improve their bilateral relations. We have always said that they need to keep taking steps that build trust,” she said.

Asked if the US had urged India and Pakistan to expedite their efforts for retaining peace in the region, Ms Harf said: “We believe that pace, scope and character of India-Pakistan dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine.”

When an Indian journalist suggested that the peace process could not be maintained if attacks along the Line of Control continued, the US official said: “These are discussions that happen between these two countries and their own two governments and that’s the appropriate place that determination to be made.”

Ms Harf said that it would be “getting ahead” of events on the ground to suggest that South Asia was moving towards yet another war between two nuclear-armed neighbours.

“I hope that they will continue the steps that they have recently taken to improve bilateral relations,” she said.

When reminded that Indian troops also had attacked a Pakistani position across the international border in Sialkot, she said: “We remain concerned about any incident of violence” but it would be hypothetical to suggest that such incidents could lead to a war.

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Comments (14)

muzammil ullah khan
August 13, 2013 8:32 am

There will never be a war between the two countries as the nuclear deterrent on both sides will ensure lasting peace . Incidents of this nature will continue periodically and are essentially the result of internal politics of the countries concerned . Also when soldiers face each other over long periods of time some stupid low level local commander , through sheer stupidity , can create a crisis of this nature . So the world can relax and sleep peacefully as there are enough sane people on both sides of the border to ensure that things don't get out of hand .

NK Ali
August 13, 2013 10:48 am

Peace between India and Pakistan is a delusion, a wisp of smoke, ethereal. As long as the USA inclined members of the politicians, GOP, and army are allowed to influence policies, decisions for Pakistan will be far from productive. The nation will continue to linger and float aimlessly. The Kashmir issue will only be solved when the USA detaches itself or is made to detach itself. Salams

Ram
August 13, 2013 6:10 pm

@muzammil ullah khan: Mr Khan please name only five sane, honest and trust worthy people currently running Pakistan. By that I mean five people who the Pakistanis AND Indians will trust and sincerely believe are sane.

Aniruddha
August 13, 2013 8:19 pm

@muzammil ullah khan: Well said. God bless you.

brinda
August 13, 2013 8:32 pm

@muzammil ullah khan: Most of the people on both the sides know that us is not there to serve anyone's interests , at personal level we share so much commonality and warmth ....why could not be turned into something viable, I think this policy paralysis pains so many people of both the sides of borders.

Samar
August 13, 2013 8:45 pm

@Ram: Ram I have a good faith question. Please name only five sane, honest and trust worthy people currently running India who the Pakistanis AND Indians will trust. I'll make it simpler, name only one such person from India! The distrust is on both sides. You can blindly blame Pakistan for everything and say Pakistanis are liers and we can do the same. The truth is both sides have deep problems that are caused by internal factors first. Without involvement of internal factors, no external enemies can do any harm. Regards

arshy
August 13, 2013 9:03 pm

why do Indians care so much about Pakistan ... I think they care more about Pakistan then even Pakistanis ... that may be a good thing ... if we can only live without hate than so much more can be achieved ... hope the best for Pakistan and India .... I wish people in india would open their minds and hearts but I guess that's just a wish !!!

Ravi Khanna
August 14, 2013 1:47 am

There will be no war between India and Pakistan, yes, but no peace either because as martyred leader Benazir Bhutto told me in a VOA interview (and I still have the tape) that Pakistan has three power centers who run the government, the elected political leaders, the Army and the ISI. So, my contention is that if the three are not in synch, as they never are, India will never know who to talk to and always waste its time and energy. Right now it is ready to talk to Sharif, but the Army, not happy with Sharif, is telling India again and again "TALK TO US" not Sharif!!!

PeopleInGlassHouses
August 14, 2013 8:15 am

Mr Ram please name only five sane, honest and trust worthy people currently running India. By that I mean five people who the Pakistanis AND Indians will trust and sincerely believe are sane.

JKRAMAN
August 14, 2013 10:29 am

@muzammil ullah khan: Khan Saheb, I hope and pray that you are right.

Sanjeev
August 15, 2013 8:49 am

It is better if there are no relations betwek India and Pakistan. The enmity is very deep rooted and cannot be finished. Better build a tall wall on the border and cut off all relations.

Gaga Gamer
August 15, 2013 5:45 pm

In addition to these 3, there is the 4th segment, i.e the set of misguided souls, who call themselves Jihadis - though this segment is not a unified segment (except in their actions and beliefs in violence) and made up of still more smaller factions and cults with their own agendas. Pakistan is being torn by these elements that the brilliance of so many of their citizens is never allowed to the fullest potential. A brilliant and intelligent person never resorts to violence, and a violent person is rarely brilliant. The average middle class of Pakistan is tired of these antics of the strong and powerful, and completely incapable of protecting themselves, thereby preventing the generation of a great nation.

jackson
August 15, 2013 9:18 pm

@arshy: i blame partition..... things could have been much better if we were a single country.... n for current situations... all blame for politicians on both sides....

Avik Roy
August 16, 2013 12:02 am

@muzammil ullah khan: Lasting peace? What about the Mumbai attack? If you think proxy war is acceptable in 'lasting peace' then you have it, the Pakistani way I mean.

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