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'De-tensioning of Kashmir border critical to stability'

world Updated: Dec 09, 2009 07:42 IST

Welcoming India's decision to reduce troop strength in Jammu and Kashmir, a top US military official has said "de-tensioning of that border" is absolutely critical to the long-term stability of the region.

"I really do believe that "de-tensioning" that (Kashmir) border is absolutely critical to the long term stability in that region. And it is going to take outreach on the part of both countries (India and Pakistan)," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told newsmen in Washington.

"So, I am very positively moved by the steps that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Government has taken with respect to this," Mullen said in response to a question on the recent decision taken by New Delhi to reduce troops from Jammu and Kashmir and its implications in the region.

"I think that the adjustments that the Indians have proposed, and to the degree that has been executed -- I am just not current on the level of execution right now -- but certainly executing those changes is a very positive step," Mullen said.

"I think, the leadership -– the political leadership, the diplomatic leadership and military leadership in both countries and in the region need to continue to encourage and also to respond," Mullen said.

The top US military official who has made several trips to Pakistan in the last one year and has been in constant contact with top Pakistani military leadership on a day-to-day basis, said resolution of Kashmir dispute is very critical for the stability in the region.