Road to Afghan peace runs through Kashmir, admits US

Observer Report
Washington
A day after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged India to seek rapprochement towards Pakistan, the US State Department clarified on Thursday that resolving the Kashmir issue might help in bringing peace in Afghanistan. Speaking at a press briefing, Heather Nauert said that the US views handling Afghanistan as a regional strategy which also incorporates India and Pakistan. She insisted that “incorporating all the nations in the region who can help assist and help make Afghanistan a stable place” was essential for South Asia. In response to a question whether the US sees pushing for a solution on Kashmir as part of its regional strategy to deal with Afghanistan, Nauert said that Washington’s policy on Kashmir has not changed. “We continue to encourage the sides to sit down and talk together,” she underscored. Regarding the government’s decision of border fencing along the Durand line, the State Department spokesperson said that the US supports practical cooperation between both the countries. Nauert went on to say that US supports an Afghan-led peace process for Afghanistan’s stability. “One of the ways we believe that they can get to the point [of achieving stability] is through the assistance of regional partners, such as India. “India has been very helpful. They’ve done a lot in terms of providing development funds to Afghanistan so far. We applaud them for that. They’ve pledged about $3 billion since 2001,” she said, adding that the US wants Pakistan to be able to do more and intend to work with those countries for an Afghan-led peace process.

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