US Wants Kashmir Process Of Progress To Continue

26 June 2008
Associated Press of Pakistan

Washington DC: The United States strongly backs Pakistan and India really making progress in resolving fundamental issues and wants the process on Kashmir and reduction of overall tension to continue between the two South Asian countries, a senior U.S. official said. Richard Boucher, the top State Department official for the region, said Washington has been supportive of steps the two countries have taken towards normalizing their relations. “Over the last couple of years, they’ve taken some steps specifically in the area of confidence-building measures on security matters. And we’ve welcomed those and supported those steps,” he told American lawmakers at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two sides, he stated, have now reengaged since the new government came in Pakistan on this sort of overall reduction of tensions, trying to build new economic ties, trying to do some things maybe that hadn’t been done before. “We certainly want that process to continue. We want a process on Kashmir to continue, a process of progress on some of the specifics involved with that issue to continue.” The Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia understood that the two nations have worked on the economic and political sides of improving their relationship but did not see “any new developments yet on the sort of military confidence-building side yet.” Asked if U.S. views encouraging discussions between the two Pakistan and India as of high interest, Boucher replied: “Very much. It’s part and parcel of every discussion we have with Pakistanis and with Indians to make sure that they know fully of our strong support for reduction of tensions and really making some progress in resolving fundamental issues.”