Asserting that India and Pakistan should adopt a “conciliatory approach” to resolve their “contentious issues”, the US has called for greater cooperation and dialogue between the two countries to bring down the recent tensions. “Our general position on this is that we want to see greater cooperation and greater dialogue between Pakistan and India,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday. “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 a greater cooperation between the two countries. Now, we’re not there right now, but that’s certainly our inclination,” Toner said.
Noting that the US’ position on Kashmir has not changed, Toner said it was in the interests of both India and Pakistan to see a stable and secure Afghanistan emerge from the years of fighting. “Certainly, in the interest of regional security as well, there’s a lot of contentious issues 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,” he said.
Toner did not give any commitment when asked if the allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir submitted by two Pakistani envoys to the State Department last week would make its way into the annual human rights report of the State Department. “I can’t speak to whether we will or we won’t. We obviously, in compiling our Human Rights Report – our annual Human Rights Report, we get information and seek out information from a variety of sources, and we judge that information, the credibility of those – that information in compiling the report,” he said.
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“We certainly will look into any credible allegations of human rights abuses wherever they occur. I can’t 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,” Toner said.