US again calls on India, Pakistan to engage in dialogue for reducing tension

US backs Afghan-led process with Taliban, stresses Pakistan-India peace for regional stability

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (APP): The United States reiterated call for India and Pakistan to engage in a dialogue for reducing tension, and praised Islamabad for fighting a ‘serious and sustained’ campaign against violent extremism.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a briefing on Monday that the long-standing position of the United States is that India and Pakistan really stand to benefit from the normalization of relation and practical cooperation between them. “And we encourage both India and Pakistan to pursue and engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at
reducing tensions.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week addressed the UN General Assembly and asked India to stop brutalities in the held valley. He also said that the issue was the root cause of tension in the region.

On Monday, Pakistani and American Kashmiris held a protest rally outside the UN Headquarters as the Indian Foreign Minister was making a speech in the General Assembly, in which she accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism.

Responding to a question that a petition has been signed by Indian Americans to the White House asking to declare Pakistan “a state sponsoring terrorism”, the spokesman said Pakistan was fighting a sustained campaign against terrorist and had made progress.

“They’re fighting a serious and sustained campaign against violent extremism. We do believe that they’re making progress, that they’re taking steps to counter terrorist violence,” the spokesman said.

On US relations with both Pakistan and India, the spokesman said Washington had good ties with both the countries and there was no zero-sum game here.