India, Pak military communication vital to reduce tensions: US

Washington: The US has called for “calm and restraint” from India and Pakistan amid increasingly strained relations between the two neighbours and urged both militaries to keep their lines of communication open to help diffuse tensions in the region.

“We urge calm and restraint on both sides. We understand, as we said last week, that the militaries are in touch. We believe that that continued communication is vital to reduce these tensions,” State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters yesterday.

Ms Trudeau, however, refused to respond to questions on India’s surgical strike across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir last week. “I’m not going to speak to any reports of these incidents.”

Ms Trudeau said the US is emphasising on regional stability and security in its dialogues with Indian and Pakistani leaders.

“I think what you would take a look at being discussed is regional stability and regional security. One of the things I think we all need to focus on is conflicts or issues or rising tension are not contained to any specific region,” she said.

“We are in favor of any reduction of tensions that both sides agree to in this particular instance. We have strong ties with both Pakistan and India, and we’ll engage on that basis,” Ms Trudeau added.

She also said that the US’ position on Kashmir has not changed.

“I would say that our position on Kashmir has not changed, and I would remind you that we are having conversations with both countries on the importance of reducing the tensions in the region,” she said.