Britain, China ask neighbours to exercise restraint
LONDON/BEIJING/WASHINGTON: Britain on Thursday asked India and Pakistan to exercise restraint in the wake of surgical strikes by Indian troops across the Line of Control, while China said it was in touch with both countries to reduce tensions.
India’s Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said soldiers conducted surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LOC, causing significant casualties. Pakistan denied the strikes and said two of its soldiers were killed in “cross-border fire”.
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that China was in “communication with both sides through different channels” and hoped India and Pakistan “can enhance communication, properly deal with differences and work jointly to maintain peace and security” Shuang was respond sions between India and Pakistan after the terror attack in Uri had figured in the first anti-terror dialogue between New Delhi and Beijing earlier this week.
A foreign ministry statement issued on Wednesday had said China values Pakistan’s position on Kashmir but hopes Islamabad and New Delhi will resolve the issue through dialogue and “maintain regional peace and stability by joint efforts”. India has “all legal and internationally accepted rights” to respond to any attack on her sovereignty and territory, Iqbal Chowdhury, advisor to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina
Chowdhury said there had been a “violation from the other side and Bangladesh always believes that any aggression or attack on the sovereignty…and legal right of a country is not acceptable”. He appealed for “restraint” from all sides to ensure peace in the region.
There was no immediate reaction from the US to the strikes. Hours before India announced it carried out the strikes, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice called on Pakistan to “combat and delegitimise” terror groups operating from its soil, including Jaish-e-muhammad, which India blamed for the Uri attack
Rice condemned the “crossborder attack” on an Indian Army camp in Uri and highlighted the “danger that cross-border terrorism poses to the region” during a phone call to her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. She said the US expects Pakistan to take “effective action to combat and delegitimise United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-taiba, Jaish-emuhammad, and their affiliates”.
This was seen as a major snub for Pakistan after PM Nawaz Sharif ’s attack on India in his speech at the UN General Assembly “It were as if Rice was Indian diplomat obviously pleased with the US response, which some in India had perceived as insipid so far, given the context of ter rorism being a shared challenge
Rice’s comments were also seen as significant against the back drop of the foreign policy crisis in South Asia over India’s boycott of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit in Islamabad.
Rice’s remarks, reaffirming President Barack Obama’s “com mitment to redouble our efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism throughout the world” were seen as an endorsement of India’s position. The US had not named Pakistan in its first reaction to the Uri attack. The statement also tapped into a growing sense of dissatisfaction and frustration with Pakistan.
The Indian DGMO said he had India shared with his Pakistan counterpart details of the strikes which were carried out on the basis of “very specific information” that terrorists were positioning them