Hours after India undertook a non-military preemptive strike in Balakot, foreign nations have urged India and Pakistan to maintain good relations for peace in South Asia. Hours after the strike, Australian Foreign Ministry said urged both sides to exercise restraint, avoid any action which would endanger peace and security.
India early Tuesday morning carried out a “non-military, preemptive action” against a major terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. The strike was conducted after the government received credible information about “another suicide terror attack” by JeM in various parts of the country. The JeM claimed the responsibility for the Pulwama attack in Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF officers.
Australia urges India Pak to avoid action
“Australia urges both sides to exercise restraint, avoid any action which would endanger peace and security in the region and engage in dialogue to ensure that these issues are resolved peacefully,” the Australian foreign ministry said. However, it also called for Pakistan to take urgent and meaningful action against terrorist groups in its territory, including Jaish-e-Mohammed, which has claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Pakistan must do everything possible to implement its own proscription of Jaish-e-Mohammed. It can no longer allow extremist groups the legal and physical space to operate from its territory,” the Australian Foreign Ministry said. “These steps would make a substantial contribution to easing tensions and resolving the underlying causes of conflict,” it said.
China calls for restraint
Meanwhile, China a close ally of Pakistan, called for restraint from both Islamabad and New Delhi to prevent further escalation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that it was “conducive to peace and stability in South Asia for the two sides to maintain a good relationship and good communication,” AP reported. “Both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and take actions that will help stabilize the situation in the region and help to improve mutual relations,” Lu added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the armed forces and the people of Pakistan to remain “prepared for all eventualities.” The statement came after an emergency meeting to review the situation, PTI reported. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who is expected to brief the media later today, said India has committed “aggression” by violating the LoC and Islamabad has “right to self-defence”.
Closely monitoring the situation, says EU
The European Union (EU) said that they are following very closely the current developments between India and Pakistan. “We remain in contact with both countries & what we believe is essential, is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions,” Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson said.
France stands with India in fight against terrorism
France called on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint to avert any risk of military escalation and preserve strategic stability in the region. “Resumption of dialogue between Islamabad-New Delhi is necessary to initiate peaceful settlement of differences. France, which stands by India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms is fully engaged in mobilising the international community to sanction terrorists responsible for this attack (Pulwama) and freezing their financing networks,” Acting spox of France’s Ministry of Europe & Foreign Affairs said.
India had received global support in its fight against terrorism after the ghastly February 14 Pulwama attack in which at least 40 CRPF soldiers were killed. The foreign leaders had also called out Pakistan for aiding terrorism on its soil, including the United States.