The Pentagon in a statement said acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan had spoken to senior US 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 said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Department of State said the US has asked Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council commitments to deny terrorists a haven and block their access to funds, reported PTI.
The State Department’s statement came as India on Wednesday said it had handed over a dossier to Pakistan with “specific details” of terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s involvement in the Pulwama attack on February 14, and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. “It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement.
“Cross-border terrorism, such as the recent attack on India’s CRPF on February 14, poses a grave threat to the security of the region,” the US spokesperson said. “We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds.”
On the heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the spokesperson urged the two countries to de-escalate the situation and avoid military action to resolve their differences. “The United States calls on India and Pakistan to cease all cross-border military activity and for a return to stability,” the spokesperson said.
India and Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that they had shot down each others’ fighter jets, a day after the Indian Air Force had struck a Jaish terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. India said Pakistan had attempted to target military installations in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday and confirmed a pilot of its Air Force was missing in action after the operation.
Pakistan claimed that its jets had struck across the Line of Control from “Pakistani airspace”, and that it had shot down two Indian jets. The action was not targeted at military installations or civilians, Islamabad claimed.