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Neighbours capable of resolving issue, US tells India, Pakistan
Publication Date : 11-01-2013
The United States believes that India and Pakistan are capable of investigating recent Line of Control (LoC) violations, although it would back a UN-led probe if both countries agreed, says the US State Department.
On Wednesday, Pakistan rejected Indian claims that its troops had killed and mutilated two Indian soldiers and offered to get the matter investigated by the UN Military Observers Group.
But India turned down the offer, saying it did not want to “internationalise the issue or allow the United Nations to hold an inquiry”.
US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, when asked to comment on the Pakistani offer, said: “Our view is that India and Pakistan have made pretty good progress in recent years in working through a number of difficult issues, including opening of the trade relations.”
The two countries, she noted, were now also engaged at a high level on these recent incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Kashmir.
“If they can work it out themselves, that’s obviously best. If both parties were interested in support from the UN, et cetera, we’d obviously support that as well,” she added. “But at the moment, we’re urging them to talk to each other.”
When a reporter asked how the United States viewed the alleged beheading of two Indian soldiers, Nuland said: “I’m not going to get into the specifics here. I think we’ve spoken to the general principles we want to see here.”
Nuland noted that US officials have been commenting on the violations ever since they happened, each time urging India and Pakistan to resolve their differences amicably.
When a journalist asked her to comment on media reports that public sentiments in India were high and people were demanding retaliatory action against Pakistan, Nuland said the US had been counselling both governments “to deescalate, to work through this issue, to continue the consultations between them at a high level that we understand are ongoing now”.
Nuland said that US ambassadors in New Delhi and Islamabad had met senior officials in both capitals, asking them to show restraint.