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US pushes India and Pak to hold talks to reduce LoC tension

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Washington (Oct 16, 2014): Voicing extreme concern over recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, the US said it has talked to both India and Pakistan to hold dialogue to reduce tension.

US Special Representative for Af-Pak region Dan Feldman said: "I have personally raised these concerns with each side - and urged them to engage in dialogue to reduce tensions and end the violence."

"There is no relationship more critical to Pakistan's future than its relationship with its neighbour," Feldman said at the Atlantic Council, a prominent think-tank, here.

"We are extremely concerned by reports of violence over the last two weeks along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary," he said.

The Af-Pak representative said he was "convinced that India's rise in prosperity and global leadership cannot be fully realised until it has a better relationship with Pakistan."

Feldman said getting the US-Pak relationship right is critical to manage some of the most difficult challenges of the 21st century - from non-proliferation and counter-terrorism to ensuring peace and stability in Asia.

"For the US-Pakistan relationship to grow, it is going to have to be less about what our two governments do than about what our peoples and businesses have to offer.

"Growing the space for the relationship is a challenge that those inside government and those outside government can help advance," he said.

Feldman said US-Pak relationship has already grown significantly, and he believes that it must continue to grow.

"The Kerry-Lugar-Berman authorisation, which expired on September 30, spelled out a set of policy principles that continue to guide our relationship -- support for civilian democratic institutions; parity in assistance to civilian and military entities; expanded economic cooperation; and expanded people-to-people ties," he said.

"Those principles remain as important today as they were in 2007, when (the) then Senators Biden and Lugar introduced the legislation. Or in 2009, when the bill was signed into law by the President," he said.

"To take the next step, we are going to need a common conception of what this relationship can achieve. It cannot be solely about Afghanistan, or terrorism. It cannot be solely dependent on relations with the continent's great powers. The US-Pakistan relations cannot be the sum of negative parts," he said.