US doing quiet diplomacy to calm Kashmir situation


WASHINGTON: The United States, while still avoiding a public stance, has been quietly engaged with both India and Pakistan for promoting a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, says the US State Department.

The Kashmir valley has been in the grip of widespread protests since July 8 when Indian security forces killed Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani. Indian forces have also killed dozens of protesters since last week.

Pakistan, as a UN-recognised party to the Kashmir dispute, strongly protested against Indian atrocities in the valley, declared Mr Wani a martyr and decided to observe a black day on July 19.

India rejected the protest and urged Pakistan “not to interfere in (its) internal affairs”.

The growing tension between the two nuclear neighbours alarmed world capitals, although Washington continued to avoid taking a public position on the situation, other than expressing concerns over the violence.

At a news briefing on Thursday afternoon, however, an American reporter pointed out that for the last three days, journalists had been trying to get the State Department’s reaction to the events in Kashmir but they only succeeded in getting an acknowledgement from the podium that “we have seen the reports of the violence and we are concerned about it”.

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