US Concerned At Kashmir Tensions, Encourages Pakistan, India To Resolve Issues Peacefully

28 August 2008
Associated Press of Pakistan

Washington DC: The United States has expressed its concern over resurgence of tension in Kashmir, saying Washington would encourage, as before, Pakistan and India to resolve their disputes peacefully. “Obviously, we’re concerned when tensions rise in that region. And, you know, as our general policy, we’ve always encouraged the governments of India and Pakistan to negotiate their differences peacefully,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said. He was asked to comment on resurgence of tensions in the Indian occupied Kashmir. Kashmir, a disputed territory that has been at the heart of the differences between the two major South Asian nations, was under Indian-clamped curfew for the third day running following protests by people and use of excessive force by Indian security personnel. Pakistan and India have been pursuing a peace process in the last four years to resolve their outstanding issues that did not lead to a breakthrough on the Kashmir dispute, despite the two countries taking some confidence building measures. The Indian occupied Kashmir saw massive but peaceful protests by unarmed Kashmiris against the Indian government’s plan to sell land for a Hindu shrine. But the Indian forces’ firing at protesters during a demonstration killed a Kashmiri leader and scores of others, which has led to a stand-off between the local population and the Indian forces. Kashmiri leaders and United Nations have urged respect for human rights as economic blockade of the valley and shortage of essential commodities worsens the situation.