'US can help restore peace on Pakistan-India border'

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Islamabad, Jan 7: Ahead of the visits by US Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama to India, there is a hope in Pakistan that the country's leadership will use its influence over India in maintaining peace on the border, a leading daily said Wednesday.

"The immediate problem is Indian belligerence, and that's where Pakistan can legitimately hope that Kerry will use his good offices to emphasise to the Indian leadership the need for a quieter border with Pakistan - and not only during President Barack Obama's visit," Dawn said in an editorial.

'US can help restore peace on Pakistan-India border'
Kerry is scheduled to visit Pakistan Jan 12, two days after visiting India for Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. President Obama will be the chief guest at India's Jan 26 Republic Day.

As Afghanistan braces itself for a transition full of hazards in the wake of the US withdrawal, "India has upped the ante, with skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working (International) Boundary resulting in the deaths of soldiers and civilians," the editorial said.

In the same breath, the daily said the most seminal development, and positive in character, is the emergence of a national consensus against terrorism in Pakistan.

"Voices that regularly claimed that the war on terror was not 'our war' or that the mass murder of civilians could be attributed to US' drone attacks have been silenced in the wake of the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar."

Stating that a cooperative relationship between Pakistan and the US is in "their mutual benefit, given Pakistan's strategic location on the meeting place of South Asia, Southwest Asia and the Gulf, a region in which US has vital economic and geopolitical interests", the daily said: "Washington, thus, can ill-afford to lose Pakistan."

Pakistan and America, thus, have a great deal to talk about when their strategic dialogue begins next week, the daily said.

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