Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed deep concern on the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control in Kashmir. In a statement, Ban said the world body was in support of “all efforts” to reach and maintain peace and security in the region, PTI reported.

He called on both sides to “prioritise the restoration of calm and stability in order to prevent any further escalation and [the] loss of life”, the statement said. Ban also expressed hope that Indian and Pakistan could find “common ground to work towards a sustainable peace” in the region.” The UN stands by the people of the region and supports all efforts to reach durable peace and security,” the statement added.

Tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi have deteriorated since the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on militant camps along the LoC on September 29. On Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement between the two countries 27 times between November 12 and November 21. The government also lodged a formal protest against the Pakistani Army targetting 18 villages along the LoC between November 16 and November 21, Swarup said.

Similarly, Islamabad had claimed that three Pakistani soldiers and nine civilians had been killed in cross-border firing the previous day when Indian troops launched a massive attack against Pakistani posts along the LoC. However, during unscheduled talks between the director-generals of military operations between the two countries, India said that the Army had only targeted locations from where Pakistani forces had carried out ceasefire violations.