US Slams Pakistan for Linking Afghan Peace to Kashmir

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The U.S on Wednesday dismissed the recent attempt over linking of peace in Afghanistan with resolution of Kashmir issue and defended India’s “right to self-defense” after the recent attack on an Indian military base, Times of India reported.

The White House backed India’s right to defend itself as with any other country, in view of the recent surgical strike but advised caution given the heavy militarization between the two neighbors.

“We certainly do not believe that the situation in Afghanistan is linked with Kashmir,” the top White House official said.

It also said that that the US is making every effort to ensure that India becomes a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year.

Making a rare appearance before a Washington audience, Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, said that India-US ties are the “most dynamic relationship” for the US as he listed the Obama administration’s achievements in strengthening the relationship between the two largest democracies of the world.

“It was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemned this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack ‎ Every country has a right to self-defense. But in a heavily militarized relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint,” he said responding to a question on the Uri attack.

“We share with India, the concern for preventing any future attack. We empathize with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross-border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution,” Lavoy said.

India and Pakistan have a “friction-filled relationship” and they have not found a way to overcome that, he said.

Last week, Lavoy met the two special envoys of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Kashmir.

The two Pakistani envoys in their public meetings had linked peace in Afghanistan to resolving the Kashmir issue.

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