Kerry speaks to Sharif, voices concern over Indo-Pak relations


Concerned with rising tensions between India and Pakistan, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss bilateral ties and regional situation, including the recent war of words between the two neighbors over issues arising out of New Delhi’s surgical strike against rebel outfits on the Indo-Myanmar border.

Speaking to the State Department reporters in a conference call from his home town of Boston, Mr Kerry said, “I talked today with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan regarding a recent increase in the tensions publicly between India and Pakistan. It’s of enormous concern to all of us for all the obvious reasons.”

Mr Kerry spoke to Pakistan’s prime minister June 16 soon after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Sharif to greet him ahead of the holy Muslim month of Ramzan. During his talks with Mr Sharif, Mr Modi also emphasized that India wanted to maintain good relations with Pakistan, and that they together should work to develop an amicable relationship.

Underlining the important role that these two neighbors play in the region, Mr Kerry said that it was crucial that there was no misinterpretation or miscalculation of the recent back-and-forth between the two countries.

Following his conversation with Pakistan’s prime minister, Mr Kerry said that Mr Sharif was extremely forthcoming and agreed to work on reducing tensions over the course of coming days.