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US avoids blaming Pakistan for LoC flare-up


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US State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki. — File Photo
US State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki. — File Photo

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has expressed the hope that India and Pakistan “will continue to take steps they have taken recently to improve their bilateral relations”.

When asked at a news briefing for comments on India’s claim that Pakistani troops crossed into the Indian-administered Kashmir earlier this week and killed five Indian soldiers, the department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki said: “We are aware of these unconfirmed reports and are concerned about any violence along the Line of Control,” she said. Noting that the US policy on Kashmir had not changed, she added: “We still believe that the pace, scope, and character of India and Pakistan’s dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine.”

Ms Psaki also declined to confirm reports that Al Qaeda has once again become active in Fata.

Although the State Department has always been cautious in implicating Pakistan in such activities, Washington has become even more careful in commenting on events concerning Pakistan since US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Islamabad last week.

During the visit, Secretary Kerry announced the revival of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, suspended two years ago, and said that President Barack Obama was looking forward to an exclusive meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif next month.

Mr Sharif is expected to visit New York in the third week of September for attending the UN General Assembly but will use this opportunity to have three crucial meetings with President Obama, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

It is still not clear if he will meet Mr Obama in New York or will come to Washington for an exclusive meeting.

Diplomatic observers in Washington, however, hope the meeting will help improve US-Pakistan relations which strained after a US air attack on a Pakistani military post that killed 17 soldiers in November 2011.

The desire to avoid further deterioration in the relationship was clearly visible in the latest State Department briefing where the spokesperson refused to implicate Pakistan in recent terrorist activities.

“I don’t have anything for you on that,” said Ms Psaki when reporters repeatedly asked her if al-Zawahiri was hiding inside Pakistan.

Reminded that a recent New York Times report claimed Mr Zawahiri might be hiding in Fata, Ms Psaki said she did not have anything for the reporter on this issue either.

The NYT report claimed that Mr Zawahiri called an Al Qaeda kingpin in Yemen from Fata. The conversation led to the closure of 22 US diplomatic missions in the Middle East and to a worldwide travel warning for American nationals.

Asked why the United States closed 22 diplomatic missions in the Middle East on an intercepted threat but never closed its mission in Pakistan despite far greater security threats, Ms Psaki said: “We make decisions post by post. That’s something that is constantly evaluated at a high level through the interagency process.”

The decision to close or open a US diplomatic mission was made on a single concern: “How to keep our employees safe, how to keep officials safe, and that’s the bar we use.”

Comments (19) Closed

Javed Aug 08, 2013 06:37am


Why is USA involved in this affair. This issue is between Pakistan and India. Let them sort it out.

Do not poke your nose in everything and in every country

Rajan Aug 08, 2013 09:24am

India should cancel the PM meeting and follow the USA response in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when Bush made the comment that " Either you are with us or against us. If you are against us we will bomb you back to the stone age" India has been bleeding for years and partly USA's support to Pak army, it's misguided shortsighted policy in South Asia and it's double speak of convenience has been responsible. India has shown extreme patience in the interest of peace unlike USA. America has very little understanding beyond it's borders must stop playing the Judge.

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune Aug 08, 2013 10:13am

Its not blaming that there are killing of Indian Soldier on LoC. Indians are not insane they killed their own army and blame to other country. Only Pakistan is not the neighbor of Indian Border China is also there but there are not even single evidence is occurred along China-India Border. We never heard that, Chinese soldier killed Indian soldier and vice-verso. Why there are alway Pak involved in such incidents??

US are not interested in Indo-Pak relation, US just want to take step on their side. And their side is to have drone attack on the tribal areas of FATA and Boluchistan, thereby US do not want to talk along the Indian side otherwise US would have complications to keep relation with Pak. This is the real fact.

So E-Dawn do not give disinformation to their citizens about Indo-Pak relation by keeping headlines "US avoid blaming Pakistan for LoC" Grow up.

Arun Aug 08, 2013 11:04am

The title of this article accurately reflects the author's mindset, sadly prevalent across Pakistan. The author is cheerfully saying "Pakistan initiated an attack across the LoC, but successfully avoided getting blamed". In the author's mind, Pakistan and India are like two schoolboys, and the US is teacher. Indians typically do not subscribe to this mindset any more. For Indians, the US is an equal, which in this case, is strictly interested only in how this impact them, as they should.

Muhammad Younus Butt Aug 08, 2013 11:21am

U.S.A must play positive part and use its influence to solve the Kashmir problem,which is a long outstanding problem in the list of problems of the world in the books of u.n.o since 1948. But unluckily Pakistan is deprived of this right of justice and in 1971 due to India`s interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan,Pakistan was damaged and now India is still after us to destabilize Pakistan is injustice part being played by India.The whole World must come forward and condemn the attacks by Indian extremists .on Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi is a shameful action.U.S. A must condemn this attack strongly.In future Pakistanis will never tolerate these hostile actions by Indian extremists mobs. inn future.

Anoop Aug 08, 2013 11:23am

US needs Pakistan for the pull-out next year. Just like it once needed Pakistan to fight the Soviets. After the Soviet Union withdrew, US imposed sanctions on Pakistan and some of which only were withdrawn after Americans decided to attack Afghanistan, when Pakistan's help was required.

The real damage for Pakistan will be post-2014 pullout. All of a sudden Pakistan find itself threatened with sanctions, IMF and WB loans will dry up, drones will increase.

Pakistan by supporting anti-American forces has given a wound to the US that it'll not easily forget. The repercussions will be paused until pull out is complete.

surtee Aug 08, 2013 12:05pm

I do not agree with the headline.Why should we be blamed if we have done nothing wrong.But if you Anwar thinks other wise then may Allah help us.Be courage's like those Indian irrespective of right or wrong starts barking in line with their govt.we are right lets for once stand up and fight.Anchor persons and columnist don't let us down this time. enough is enough.

nishan Aug 08, 2013 12:09pm

Answer is simple. Kerry is putting all efforts to normalise US-Pakistan relation and he do not want jeopardise this by admitting the facts on what happened in LOC. US knows what India says is the truth. Just because US is not admitting this publically, that doesn

Zubair Khan Aug 08, 2013 03:26pm

Biggest problem is hypocracy. Unless truth gets a chance to prevail nothing will be resolved. US always prefers own strategic interest. Until withdrawl of its troops in 2014 probably has to be very careful with Pakistan. Unfortunately it is not the solution. Even if Pakistan decides to speak truth many prolblems of will be resolved.

world champion Aug 08, 2013 03:28pm

Now they are taking certificate from a country (usa) which has itself killed thousands of pakistanis in drone attacks. If they are taking verdict from usa then, other claims made by usa are also legitimate about pakistan.

ASH Aug 08, 2013 05:03pm

@Javed: Because they dole out billions of dollars every year to Pakistan. Without which Pakistanis will have to eat grass (as Bhutto said).

Komberi Aug 08, 2013 05:55pm

if Pakistanis shoot at Indian forces, how can anyone avoid blaming Pakistan? I do not understand this part.

a Aug 08, 2013 06:16pm

An excellent step by the US to NOT blame Pakistan for this incident (which we dont even know if is true). The US didn't blame india when india kills Pakistani soldiers. WHy should it be different the other way around. Indian bullying must come to an end.

Ozz777 Aug 08, 2013 06:32pm

@Arun: With all due respect, and keeping in mind the fact that India is much more advanced than Pakistan in a lot of ways, if Indians are beginning to think of the US as their equal, they are, to put it plainly and simply, delusional..... :-)

Asoka Aug 08, 2013 10:26pm

@Rajan: America wants to divide India. Tamil Nadu , Bengal Desam, Assam, Telangana and Nagaland in USA list. India's double game never ever succeeding . India last 50 years with Russia but now India with USA. USA knows how to handle India.

Zak Aug 09, 2013 12:18am

The reason US has not blamed Pakistan because they know India lies and does these acts togather. They have not forgotten when BIll Clinton visited India in the 1990s , 25 Sikhs were killed in Kashmir and India went on media hype, even Clinton spoke in support. Later the CIA investigation exposed the fact that the murders were done by the Indian occupation army. Clinton made a statements short of an apology to Pakistan and indirectly admonished India. So no one trusts India except of course the goat citizens of India, who are fed rubbish and lies and they refuse to believe the truth.

Igloo Aug 09, 2013 03:07am

@Komberi: Surely you must understand that an accusation is not fact. Would you condemn India if Pakistan claimed India shot at Pakistani Soldiers - and India denied it?

gupta Aug 10, 2013 08:24pm

@Javed: Well put Javed. I am an Indian and agree with you. India and Pak speak the same language and don't require the services of USA.

Dipak Aug 10, 2013 10:49pm

US is afraid of Pakistan.