WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (APP): The United States will like to encourage both Pakistan and India to adopt a more conciliatory approach and resolve their contentious issues in the larger interest of regional peace, a US State Department Spokesman said.

At a briefing in the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner said the US position on Kashmir remains, which is that the two countries should work out a solution between them. But he added that the US would like to see greater cooperation and greater dialogue between Pakistan and India. “It’s frankly to the benefit of both countries. That includes, certainly, security issues.”

“We want to see tensions go down, and we want to see, as I said, a greater cooperation between the two countries. Now, we’re not there right now, but that’s certainly our inclination,” the spokesman Toner said.

To a question on peace in Afghanistan, the spokesman said it was in the interests of both India and Pakistan to see a stable, secure Afghanistan emerge from the years of fighting.
And certainly, in the interest of regional security as well, there’s a lot of contentious issues, as you note, between India and Pakistan, but the two countries we would encourage to take a more conciliatory approach to each other and to work through some of these issues for the greater good of the region.”

Asked about the recent visit to the United States by Special Envoys of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Jammu and Kashmir and their demand that human rights violations should be included in the US State Department annual report, Spokesman Mark Toner stated that he could not speak about it.

He, however, stated that the US State Department does get information and seeks out information from a variety of sources in compiling the annual Human Rights Report. The department judges the credibility of that information while compiling the report.

“We certainly will look into any credible allegations of human rights abuses wherever they occur,” he said but added that he could not speak to whether these particular abuses will find their way into the report or not. “That’s part of the process for compiling the report.”

On the overall situation in Afghanistan, the spokesman said that it had been a difficult season and the situation in Helmand was of a particular concern.

He said the Taliban remain a very resilient insurgency to this date and they have continued to challenge the Afghan government forces.

He said the latest attack in Helmand was just another example and another effort by the Taliban to create and sow instability and undermine the progress that the country has made over the past 15 years. “Thus far, while the Afghan Security Forces have certainly been challenged, they’ve held the line and they’ve performed remarkably well,” he added.

However, he said the United States wants to see an Afghan led, Afghan owned peace process which still remained the best way to bring about a stable and prosperous future for Afghanistan.