Kerry tells Nawaz Sharif tensions with India 'enormous concern'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2015 01:36 IST

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday expressed his concerns to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about the recent increase in public tensions between Pakistan and India.

“It's of enormous concern to all of us for all the obvious reasons," Kerry told reporters. "These are two very, very important countries, playing a critical role with respect to regional interests.”

Kerry said Sharif was “extremely forthcoming” and said he had just spoken with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

The Indian Army, which killed 59 militants near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir last year, says it has seen a rise in infiltration attempts in recent weeks.

On June 6, it killed three militants along the LoC, foiling the third attempt in two weeks.

“It's very, very important that there be no misinterpretation or miscalculation with respect to any of the back-and-forth and the empowerment some entities might feel as a result of that,” Kerry said as he prepared to return to Washington after a bicycle accident sidelined him for two weeks.

A statement from the Pakistan Prime Minister’s House quoted Sharif as saying that there is national consensus in his country on efforts to counter terrorism.

Kerry’s conversation with Sharif came close on the heels of a call to the Pakistani premier from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who reiterated the need for “peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations” between the two countries.

Modi spoke to Sharif, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to extend his wishes on the start of the holy month of Ramzan.

He also announced that India will release detained Pakistani fishermen as a gesture of goodwill.

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