Kerry in India for Strategic Talks 08/30 06:15
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in India for strategic and commercial
talks being held against the backdrop of rising tensions in the disputed region
of Kashmir, long a flashpoint between India and rival Pakistan.
NEW DELHI (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in India for
strategic and commercial talks being held against the backdrop of rising
tensions in the disputed region of Kashmir, long a flashpoint between India and
Kerry, along with U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, is leading the
American delegation to the second meeting of the U.S.-India strategic dialogue,
which seeks to improve security and economic development ties between the
Tuesday's talks come amid some of the largest protests in Kashmir against
Indian rule in recent years. At least 68 civilians have been killed and
thousands injured in the Himalayan region, mostly by government forces firing
bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters since early July. Two
policemen have been killed and hundreds of government forces have been injured
in the clashes.
On Monday, Indian authorities lifted a curfew imposed in most parts of
India-controlled Kashmir as part of a 52-day security lockdown. But they
re-imposed the curfew in the region's main city after anti-India protests and
clashes erupted in several neighborhoods.
More than 68,000 people have been killed since rebel groups began fighting
Indian forces in 1989 and in the subsequent Indian military crackdown.
The U.S. has consistently urged dialogue between India and Pakistan on the
dispute and, in a meeting with Indian national security adviser Ajit Doval,
Kerry reiterated that position, according to U.S. officials, who noted that on
Monday India's defense minister met with Pentagon chief Ash Carter in
Other issues on the agenda include cooperation in Afghanistan, efforts to
combat terrorism, cybersecurity as well as India's desire to become a member of
the Nuclear Suppliers Group and pursue a permanent seat on the U.N. Security
Council. Climate change and clean energy are also to be discussed.