US urges against escalation of tensions between India, Pakistan

US urges against escalation of tensions between India, Pakistan

Washington, Sep 30 (IANS) Following the Indian Army’s surgical strikes against terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, the US has called for steps to avoid steps that escalate tensions between India and Pakistan.

“Our message to both sides has been the same, in terms of encouraging them to increase communication to deal with this threat and to avoid steps that escalate the tensions,” US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in the daily press briefing on Thursday.

“I think I’m not going to get into characterising each and every step along the way there,” he said.

“But obviously, what we want to see is increased cooperation against what is a very shared common threat for both countries, and to see steps being taken to deal with it by all sides.”

The Indian Army on Wednesday night carried out surgical strikes across the LoC on terror launch pads inflicting “significant casualtiesa, according to Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh.

This action came after the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army garrison at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers.

India has blamed the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack.

Stating that the US was following the situation closely, Kirby said: “We also understand that the Indian and Pakistani militaries have been in communication. We believe that continued communication is obviously important to reduce tensions.”

In a media briefing on Thursday in New Delhi following the operations on Wednesday, DGMO Singh said that he had shared the details of the action against the terrorists with his Pakistani counterpart.

He said that “we expect the Pakistani army to cooperate with us with a view to erase this menace of terrorism from our region.”

“We believe that continued communication is obviously important to reduce tensions,” Kirby said in Thursday’s media briefing.

Stating that terrorism knew no borders, he said in an obvious reference to the Pakistani establishment: “We continue to urge actions to combat and delegitimise terrorist groups like LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and the Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Mohammed.”

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