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Pentagon urges Pakistan and India to sort out issues

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defence has expressed the hope that tensions between Pakistan and India would be lowered, and encouraged the nuclear-armed nations to continue their communication to this end.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told a briefing that they were aware that the Indian and Pakistani militaries had been in communication with one another, and the United States would encourage these continued discussions between the two countries to reduce tension. “We are encouraged by that and we certainly would encourage those conversations to continue,” Cook said, adding that the US officials had been in touch with both the countries.

On the situation in Afghanistan and its ties with Pakistan, the Pentagon spokesman said that it was important for both the countries, and for all parties in that region, to address the issue of terrorism. “And we’ll continue to make every effort we can to work with our partners in the region to address that issue.” Saying that both Pakistan and the US had a “shared threat” of terrorism, Cook said that the two countries were in talks to counter that threat.

He said the two countries were also in touch with regard to the operations against terrorists and their movement across the border. To a question on Afghanistan, Cook said the US was working with Afghan forces in the counterterrorism efforts against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for some time now. “We’ll continue to target ISIL in Afghanistan and … wherever it appears.”