US hopeful about Indo-Pak peace talks despite LoC attack

Washington, Aug 8 (ANI): Following the killings of five Indian soldiers at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District, the United States on Thursday expressed concern over the incident, but said that it was for India and Pakistan to determine the "pace, scope and character" of their bilateral talks on the Kashmir issue.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said: "We are aware of these unconfirmed reports and are concerned about any violence along the line of control. The policy on Kashmir has not changed."

"We still believe that the pace, scope and character of India and Pakistan's dialogue on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine," she added.

Psaki further said that the U.S. hoped that India and Pakistan would continue the steps they have taken to improve their bilateral relations.

Five Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistan Special Forces at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District on August 6.

Earlier in the day, making a fresh and dramatic statement in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister A.K.Antony accepted and acknowledged after being briefed by the Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, that Specialist Forces of the Pakistan Army were involved in the ambushed attack on six Indian Army soldiers on Tuesday morning in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District, leading to the death of five of them.

"It is now clear that Specialist Forces of the Pakistan Army were involved in the attack.Those in Pakistan who are responsible for this tragedy, should not go unpunished. Our restraint should not be taken for granted," said Antony.

He also warned that attacks such as this will have consequences not only on the Line of Control (LoC), but also naturally on the (future) relationship with Pakistan.

He said that the Indian Government would not stand by the wayside and allow the sanctity of the LoC to be violated time and again. (ANI)

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