US concerned over violence in Indian-held Kashmir, says in touch with government

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Mutual expulsion of diplomats by Pakistan, India should not lead to escalation: US

WASHINTON, July 30 (APP): The United States on Friday expressed concern over the violence in the Indian-held Kashmir, saying the Obama administration was in close touch with Indian counterparts and wanted to see the tensions de-escalated.

“We are obviously concerned by the violence and we want to see the tensions de-escalated,” US State Department Spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing, referring to clashes between protesters and Indian troops.

Kashmir is in a grip of intense violence since the death of young Kashmiri freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, who was killed by Indian forces on July 8. A wave of protest that erupted after the violence has claimed lives of more than 50 people, mostly women and children killed by Indian forces.

Hundreds of people are at the risk of losing their eyesight after Indian soldiers used guns to fire pellets directly at protesters. US media has constantly reported Indian brutalities in the renewed phase of violence.

“We encourage all sides to make efforts to find a peaceful solution to this, and I can tell you are, as you would expected we would be, in close touch with our Indian counterparts there in New Delhi as this goes forward,” he added.

Responding to a question on Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Kirby said that the United States recognizes Pakistan’s genuine concerns and its right to undertake appropriate measures to enforce its immigration laws.

He said the US government was in close contact with the government of Pakistan as it manages a complex issue.

To a question on Afghanistan, the spokesman welcomed Kabul for becoming the 164th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He said the United States looked forward to working together with that country as a full member of the WTO going forward.