WASHINGTON: Voicing concern over escalation in violence along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region, a top American envoy said the United States has raised the issue with both Pakistan and India and has asked the two countries to resolve the tensions through dialogue.
"We are extremely concerned by reports of violence over the last two weeks along the LoC and the working boundary," US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman told a Washington think tank.
"I have personally raised these concerns with each side, urging them to engage in dialogue to reduce tensions and end the violence," he said in a speech to the Atlantic Council.
"There is no relationship more critical to Pakistan's future than its relationship with its neighbour," Feldman said, adding: "I am convinced that India's rise in prosperity and global leadership cannot be fully realised until it has a better relationship with Pakistan."
Pakistan has informed the US administration about its concerns over current tensions along the LoC and on the working boundary with India, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani told Dawn on Wednesday.
"Pakistan has sensitised the P-5 countries, including the US, about our concerns," he said, referring to five permanent members of the UN General Assembly.
Diplomatic sources in Washington told Dawn that a Pakistani delegation which visited the US capital earlier this week and senior Pakistani diplomats had also conveyed their concerns to officials at the State Department and the White House.
Jilani expressed disappointment over New Delhi’s unilateral decision to cancel Foreign Secretary level talks and blamed Indian security forces for escalating tensions through multiple ceasefire violations along the LoC and working boundary.
“Such aggressive posturing in a volatile region not only runs counter to the stated Indian objectives for a peace dialogue with Pakistan but also jeopardises the security and stability of the entire region,” he said.
In recent news briefings, the US State Department expressed similar concerns and urged India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through peaceful negotiations.
“We are concerned about any violence along the LoC. We will continue to encourage the governments of Pakistan and India to engage in further dialogue to address these issues,” the department’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
At least 20 people have lost their lives on both sides in the continuing skirmishes.
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