Wednesday Oct 19, 2016
WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday again urged both India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue process for reducing tensions in South Asia.
Addressing a press briefing, the Department of State deputy spokesman Mark Toner said, “We’re pushing for more dialogue between Pakistan and India, which we believe will help reduce tensions in the region”.
He said that the US was working hard to push Pakistan to go after those terrorist groups that seek safe haven on its soil and territory.
Toner further said that the US supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been running high since a Sept. 18 attack on an army base in Indian Occupied Kashmir, near the Line of Control (LoC), killing 19 Indian soldiers.
Two Pakistani soldiers embraced martyrdom in one of many unprovoked firing across the LoC last month.
The incident was painted as a surgical strike by senior Indian officials, in a move apparently aimed to satisfy the public.
"India conducted a surgical strike at the Line of Control on Thursday to prevent terrorists from attacking Indian soil," said India's DGMO Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh at a press conference in New Delhi, according to Indian media.
Pakistan rebuffed the claims with the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) saying, "There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by Indian forces which is an existential phenomenon".
The government of Narendra Modi has also been criticised by opposition parties in India for failing to provide any evidence of the surgical strikes claim.
The baseless Indian accusations are being seen as a measure to divert attention from human rights abuses in Kashmir where since July over 110 Kashmiris have been martyred by Indian forces.
The US has not confirmed nor denied the Indian claim.