‘Concerned’ China urges India, Pakistan to avoid tensions

Beijing, Sep 21 (IANS) China on Wednesday said it was concerned over the worsening tensions between India and Pakistan and urged both the countries to exercise restraint.

“Recent violent clashes and attacks caused some casualties and strains in India-Pakistan relations. We are concerned about that,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters here.

“We hope all relevant parties can exercise restraint and avoid escalating tensions,” he said.

Earlier too Beijing had expressed concern over the “rising temperatures” following the killing of 18 Indian soldiers by four terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

China has been soft on Pakistan — its so-called all-weather friend — over accusations that Islamabad harbours terrorists.

Earlier this year, Beijing refused to declare Masood Azhar — chief of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) — a terrorist.

The JeM has been blamed for two terror attacks in India this year — the first on an Indian air base in Pathankot in January and on an Indian Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

The latest terror attack has Beijing worried as it is building a $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which passes through Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region — claimed by India as its own.

India has raised the issue of terrorists crossing over from the Pakistani Kashmir. After the attack in Uri, India has said it will retaliate at a time of its choosing.

Lu reiterated that China was against all forms of terrorism.

“Regarding counter terrorism, our position is consistent. We oppose all forms of terrorism and believe in enhanced international cooperation to deal with (such) threats,” he added.

“Both India and Pakistan are important regional countries and we hope they have more dialogue and properly deal with disputes and remain committed to peace, stability and security of the region”, Lu said.

–IANS

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