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Pakistan, India must avoid escalating tensions, urges US

Talking to media representatives in a routine news briefing, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby presented stance of the United States over the cross-border tension between Pakistan and India.

“We also understand that the Indian and Pakistani militaries have been in communication. We believe that continued communication is obviously important to reduce tensions”.

Kirby made the comments after India claimed that it conducted ‘surgical strikes’ in the wee hours of Thursday along the line of control (LoC) on the Pakistan side of Kashmir, a notion rejected by the Pakistan Army as baseless.

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Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) clarified that there had been no surgical strike by India and that there had been cross-border fire initiated by India, which is an existential phenomenon.

It said rebranding cross-border fire a surgical strike is a fabrication of truth by the Indian establishment.

With a brewing crisis in the fragile region, the US spokesman urged Pakistan and India to improve their communication links and avoid steps that ignite the anxiety.

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“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.”

He said the US wants to see increased cooperation against and to see steps being taken to deal with it by all sides.

“We’ve repeatedly expressed our concerns regarding the danger that terrorism poses to the region. And we all know that terrorism, in many ways, knows no border,” he said, adding that it was something the US was keenly focused on.

Kirby said the US has stated many times that terrorism was a common threat in the region, “and we believe it’s important for everybody in the region, and we’re obviously willing to, and have proven, willing to contribute to those efforts, to take that on, to take that on as a shared regional challenge.”


US encourages Pak-India military communication

The White House spokesman Josh Earnest said reports from the region indicated the Indian and Pakistani militaries had been in communication with one another “and we encourage continued discussions…to avoid escalation.”

He said President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, had spoken to her Indian counterpart on Wednesday and made clear Washington is “concerned by the danger that cross-border terrorism poses.”

Earnest said he could not speak to “any specific coordination” between India and the United States on the situation.



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