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International community urges India, Pakistan to show restraint

ISLAMABAD: The international community has urged Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and refrain from escalating tensions.

On Wednesday, Pakistan carried out air strikes and shot down two Indian jets, a day after Indian warplanes violated the Line of Control.

The Pentagon has said Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan is focused on de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and has urged them both to avoid further military action.

A Pentagon statement said Shanahan had spoken with senior American military officials about the situation.

“Acting Secretary Shanahan’s focus is on de-escalating tensions and urging both of the nations to avoid further military action,” the statement added.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has also expressed concern over the escalating tension between Pakistan and India. She urged both the countries to show restraint, saying the United Kingdom was deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan.

She said the UK was in contact with both countries and was urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability.

“We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on phone with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and offered mediation between India and Pakistan.

Zarif urged both countries to practice restraint, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. ISNA said Zarif is going to speak to his Indian counterpart as well but did not specify any date.

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini called on India and Pakistan to show the “utmost restraint” in their worsening confrontation as fears grow of all-out conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals.

“This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region. We expect both countries to now exercise utmost restraint and avoid any further escalation of the situation,” European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said.

Germany has also called for dialogue between India and Pakistan.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Berlin was watching developments in South Asia “with great concern”.

Spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told reporters both sides have a responsibility to prevent an escalation.