China on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to “exercise restraint” in its first reaction to Indian Air Force’s air strikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp across the Line of Control, PTI reported. China asked New Delhi to fight against terrorism through international cooperation.
“I want to say that India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang when asked about the air strikes. “A sound relationship and cooperation between the two serves the interests of both the countries and peace and stability in South Asia. We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and do more to improve their bilateral relations.”
On India’s claim that it was a “non-military pre-emptive strike” directed against the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lu said fighting terrorism is a “global practice”. “It needs necessary international cooperation,” Lu said. “India needs to create favourable condition internationally for the same,” he said during a Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing.
Lu also referred to the conversation between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi held on Monday, reported The Indian Express. Lu said the Chinese Foreign Minister had “reaffirmed his opinion” that India and Pakistan “need to advance cooperation on counter-terrorism for peace and stability in the region”.
Lu’s comments came ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China at the Chinese city of Wuzhen on Wednesday. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is due to take part in the meeting.
Australia, too, urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and avoid any action that would endanger peace and security in the region. In a statement, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Pakistan must take urgent action against “terror groups in its territory”, including the Jaish-e-Mohammed. “It must do everything to implement its own proscription of JeM,” Payne said, according to ANI. “It cannot allow extremist groups to operate from its territory.”
The European Union also called on Islamabad and New Delhi to avoid further escalations.
The terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed, India’s air strikes across the Line of Control and listing Jaish chief Masood Azhar under United Nations sanctions are likely to be discussed in the meeting of the foreign ministers.