Pakistan, India should go for negotiations: Mark Toner

WASHINGTON: Emphasizing a “conciliatory approach” between India and Pakistan should adopt to resolve their “contentious issues”, the US has called for larger cooperation and channels of communication between the two states to bring down the current strains.

Mark Toner deputy spokesman of State Department said, “Our general position on this is that we want to see greater cooperation and greater dialogue between Pakistan and India,”

Toner said. “It’s honestly to the advantage of both countries. That includes, surely, security issues. We want to see strain go down, and we want to see a larger cooperation between the two countries. Now, we’re not there right now, but that’s certainly our preference,”

Toner explained that their stance regarding Kashmir issue is not changed and it should be resolved through negotiation. Further Security and stability in Afghanistan is equally benificial for both Pakistan and India.

“Undoubtedly, cooperation between two countries is vital for regional security, Pakistan and India have a lot of contentious issues between, we would encourage the two countries to take a more conciliatory approach to resolve their issues and to work for the greater good of the region,” Mark said.

Toner did not give any assurance when asked if the allegations of human rights violations in Occupied 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 compile our 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,” Toner said.

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

Mark said the US stance on Kashmir remains the same, which is that the two countries should work out a solution between them.

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.

Mark said the Taliban remain to challenge the Afghan government forces with very resilient insurgency and they have continued. He said the latest attack in Helmand was just another example and another effort by the Taliban to create and sow insecurity and undercut 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.


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