NEW DELHI: A top American Senator Thursday expressed serious concern over ceasefire violations along the border between India and Pakistan and suggested that UN could be a "helpful participant" to resolve the current crisis.
Terming as "reassuring" Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment that the situation will improve soon, Senator Timothy M Kaine, also Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on South and Central Asian Affairs, hoped that normalcy would return to border areas in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to Pakistan's attempt to internationalise the issue and seek UN's role, he said, "I think sometimes the UN can be a helpful participant in the discussion to return to ceasefire for example. So, the Secretary General's comments about that I thought were appropriate.
"Right role or necessity of how deep the UN needs to be engaged, I haven't thought through. But as a promoter of peaceful resolution of disputes the UN does a good job and in that sense I think their participation should be welcomed."
Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has asked India and Pakistan to resolve their issues diplomatically and through dialogue.
Kaine and Senator Angus S King Jr had met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval yesterday and discussed a range of issues including the security situation in the region.
"International border has to be respected. We are very troubled over the civilian deaths," Kaine said during a media interaction here.
Asked about terrorist hideouts in Pakistan, King said US was concerned about terrorism wherever it originates and noted that it has been engaged in dealing with the menace effectively.
"Certainly India is much more proximate to this threat then we are and that is why I think the relationship between India and Pakistan is one that they have to work out on their own. America is concerned about terrorism wherever it resides," King said.
Both the senators described Modi's visit to the US as very successful and welcomed his "strong comment" that ISIS poses a threat to humanity.
Asked whether US was disappointed over India's position that it will not join any military coalition against ISIS, the senators said New Delhi will have to decide its own role. King in this regard also referred to al-Qaeda's threat against India and said it has to be taken seriously.
Talking about Indo-US relations, they said US has already backed a greater role for India in the IMF and supported its permanent membership in the UN Security Council which reflected the closeness between the two countries.
They said both President Barack Obama and Modi struck a personal rapport in their first meeting in Washington recently and referred to both visiting the Martin Luther King Jr memorial after the talks.
On the ceasefire violations, he said it was "very important" to "deescalate" the problem.
Asked whether US would ask Pakistan to resolve the issue, he said, "We do have a relationship obviously. We generally think in US that we have more ability to influence positively if we are engaged then if we are not engaged. So there is an engagement and yet we do use the tools at our disposal to try and promote better behaviour."
Both the Senators said they want Congressional authorisation for US strikes in Iraq, saying time has come to reassert Congressional authority.
Asked whether US was disappointed with India's stand on the WTO deal, they said New Delhi will have to take a call on the issue.