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India, Pak should continue dialogue to address concerns: US

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Washington: India and Pakistan should continue a dialogue process to address their differences and issues, including Kashmir, the US has said as it asked the two nations to refrain from indulging in rhetoric.

“What I would say that the extent to which both countries are seeking to continue a dialogue process that will do more to address concerns and tensions than perhaps other approaches. So I would just say that it is our hope and our counsel to (the two) continue to push forward on a process of talks between the two governments to try to address concerns,” a senior State Department official said.

The United States, the official noted, has also said that with respect to the issues emanating from Kashmir, that it believes that this is something that the two countries need to determine through the dialogue.

“Nothing has changed in terms of the US position and perspective on that and we do encourage the two countries to continue the dialogue process that allows them to process areas of concerns in both countries,” the official said in response to a question.

In an apparent reference to the war of words between the two countries, the official cautioned against indulging in rhetoric.

“I think, when you start going into a situation where there is rhetoric that flies that is rarely going to be conducive to push forward a dialogue process,” the official said.

“At the same time, we have understood and the concerns and frustrations that has been expressed with respect to terrorism.

“We have been very firm in our statements, public and private that there has to be actions against terrorist groups wherever they may operate there cannot be a safe haven for terrorist groups and that there cannot be any distinction made. We have urged for robust cooperation to try to address those concerns,” said the senior State Department official.

On issue of Balochistan, the US said that it “strongly supports” the territorial integrity of Pakistan.

The remarks came after Baloch leaders in exile demanded freedom from Pakistan, called for an independent referendum under UN supervision and criticised US President Barack Obama for not taking up the issue of gross human rights violations in this restive Pak province.

“The United States has strongly supported the territorial integrity of Pakistan,” the official said.

“We certainly have expressed concerns as they have come up human rights concerns with respect to various countries and relationships. I am not going to comment on the Prime Ministers’ remarks. I think that is for the Indian government to characterise,” the State Department official said.

PTI

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