No Change in US Policy Urging Bilateral Solution for Kashmir

Marie harf, the State Department deputy spokesperson

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Washington, DC – The United States reiterated its ongoing policy to let the two nuclear powered neighbors India and Pakistan to decide “the pace and the scope and character” of their dialogue to settle the Kashmir dispute.

Answering a question from India America Today, Marie Harf, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson on Friday said, “Our policy on Kashmir hasn’t changed. We still believe that the pace and the scope and character of India and Pakistan’s dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine, of course.”

Just days before a rally by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heavily-armed terrorists stormed an Army camp on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in Mohrara area in the border town of Uri Friday morning, killing three policemen and eight army men, including a lieutenant colonel, before the third phase of state elections Tuesday (December 9).

Asked to comment on the rising tension on the Line of Control (LoC) of India-Pakistan border after violence in Kashmir, Harf said, “We are concerned about any violence in Kashmir … Of course our embassies in both places have raised these types of incidents with their respective host governments and certainly encouraged both to continue working together on the issue.”

In a statement issued by the department, a Senior State Department Official said, “The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Kashmir, which claimed the lives of innocent civilians, military, and police personnel. The United States remains firmly committed to working in close partnership with India to defeat terrorism in all its forms. Our hearts go out to the families of those affected by this deplorable attack.”

Indian prime minister Modi said Saturday that the raid on the army base in Uri by suspected Pakistani insurgents was an “attack on Indian democracy.”

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