UK, EU urge Pakistan and India to exercise restraint

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LONDON: The United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) have called upon Pakistan and India for restraint to avoid further escalation of tension.

In a statement, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the UK is deeply concerned about the tension between the two countries.

He said that he has spoken to both Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and urged both the sides to exercise restraint.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “The UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation,” adding that “We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions.”

The UK PM’s official statements came after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside its air space and captured one of the Indian Air force (IAF) pilots.

On Wednesday, Britain’s junior Foreign Office minister Mark Field also spoke with Indian and Pakistani envoys on Wednesday to urge their countries to exercise restraint after both sides faced a war-like situation when PAF shot down two IAF jets inside its airspace.

The European Union’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini also called on Pakistan and India to show the maximum restraint in their worsening confrontation.

“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,” Mogherini said.

In an address to the Pakistani nation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again invited India for talks and urged better sense should prevail.

“I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday. We offered India that we are ready to cooperate with them in any kind of investigation after the Pulwama attack,” the premier said.