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.

Kerry is leading the American delegation to Tuesday's seventh meeting of the U.S.-India strategic dialogue, which seeks to improve security and economic development ties between the nations.

The talks come amid some of the largest protests in Kashmir against Indian rule in recent years. At least 67 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at rock-throwing protesters. Two policemen have been killed and hundreds of government forces have been injured in the clashes.

The U.S. has consistently urged dialogue between India and Pakistan on the dispute.