China urges peace and dialogue between India and Pakistan

China urges peace and dialogue between India and Pakistan

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A Pakistani woman (center) waves to her Indian Muslim relatives sitting on the Samjhota Express train on their departure for India at Lahore railway station on Monday. Tensions between Pakistan and India have risen in the days following a suicide attack in Kashmir that killed 41 Indian paramilitaries and was claimed by Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Photo: AFP

China urged India and Pakistan to practice good communication and exercise restraint, which will help maintain regional stability, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said after Indian fighter jets crossed into Pakistani territory on Tuesday.

The Pakistan military said on Tuesday that Indian warplanes violated the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir region and dropped “payload” hastily.

Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor, chief of the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations, said the Pakistan Air Force “immediately scrambled and Indian aircraft went back.”

Confirming the airstrikes, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale said a JeM terror camp was the lone target of the “non-military pre-emptive action” taken by India in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

India’s actions are “putting regional peace and stability at grave risk. The claimed strike area is open for the world to see the facts on the ground,” according to an official statement provided by the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing.

“India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take actions against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and its soil,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

The incident came amid growing tensions between Pakistan and India following the February 14 suicide attack on the Indian police in the Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed over 40 policemen.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a news briefing Tuesday that India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia, and they should maintain good relations and communication, which aids regional stability.

China hopes that the two sides can exercise restraint and take actions that can stabilize the regional situation and improve mutual relations, not the opposite, he said.

Lu said that fighting terrorism is a global problem and challenge, which requires global cooperation and countries should create a beneficial atmosphere for necessary international cooperation.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday to exchange views on the recent suicide attack in Kashmir.

In the phone conversation, Wang said China supports Pakistan and India to resolve the issue through dialogue as soon as possible and avoid an escalation of the situation. He called on both sides to collaborate on fighting terrorism and jointly safeguard the security and stability of South Asia.