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US encourages Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir

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News Analysis |

The United States has advised Pakistan and India to hold talks to reduce the growing tensions between them. US State Department’s Spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “We think that both sides would certainly have to sit down and have talks about that,” when he was reminded about cross-border shelling between India and Pakistan for the past several weeks at a Tuesday news briefing.

Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries faced each other in Kabul Conference titled “Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation” which was held on February 28, 2018. Around 25 countries participated in the conference. US was enthusiastic about this conference which it hoped would bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The Kashmir Dispute has the potential to blow out into a full-fledged nuclear conflict between the two weary neighbors. Hence efforts must be made to solve this dispute through amicable means.

The meeting of the top diplomats of both India and Pakistan at the Kabul Conference comes in the backdrop of a recent attack on an Indian army camp in Jammu and Kashmir, which India blames on Pakistan. India’s unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LOC) for the past several weeks has jeopardized peace in the region.

In the backdrop of this bloodshed, Pakistan has tried its best to draw attention of international community towards these violations. For instance, on February 23, 2018, Pakistan took defense attaches of six countries including US, UK, France, China, Turkey and Indonesia to Line of Control (LOC) in Rawalakot Sector of Azad Jammu & Kashmir to acquaint them of India’s ceasefire violations which resulted in the deaths of several civilians.

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Apart from this initiative, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sardar Masood participated in a convention of British councilors, lord mayors and mayors in London hosted by the Pakistan High Commission on February 25, 2018. He said, “India-held Kashmir is on fire but the world community is not sending any fire-fighters or peacekeepers to extinguish the blaze.”

Pakistan’s efforts to draw major powers’ attention to Kashmir issue did not go unnoticed and resulted in US call for talks between Pakistan and India. As Indo-US strategic partnership is growing, it is quite possible that India would hold negotiations with Pakistan on the Kashmir conflict on the US call.

It claimed that Indian forces committed more than 1,970 ceasefire violations in 2017. India continues these violations to pursue its objective of diverting the attention of the international community from the massive human rights violations by the Indian military in Indian Held Kashmir.

Earlier, statements from the Indian senior officials were hostile. For instance, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Pakistan will “pay for the misadventure”. Six days ago, India’s Chief of Army Staff, Bipin Rawat claimed, “We have several options including surgical strikes.”

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These statements have shown India’s rigidity for not holdings talks with Pakistan on the ceasefire violations across the LOC. According to Pakistan’s Foreign Office, India has allegedly carried about more than 335 ceasefire violations along LOC and the International Border (IB) in 2018 resulting in deaths of 15 civilians.

It claimed that Indian forces committed more than 1,970 ceasefire violations in 2017. India continues these violations to pursue its objective of diverting the attention of the international community from the massive human rights violations by the Indian military in Indian Held Kashmir.

The Kashmir Dispute has the potential to blow out into a full-fledged nuclear conflict between the two weary neighbors. Hence efforts must be made to solve this dispute through amicable means.


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