Major world powers ask India, Pak to exercise utmost restraint

HANOI/LONDON: The US, the UK, China, Russia and the European Union on Wednesday urged both India and Pakistan to exercise utmost restraint and avoid further military activity by the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Tensions between India and Pakistan rose Wednesday after Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tried to defuse the tension by saying war is futile and can lead to unknown consequences while making an oblique reference to the nuclear weapons that both countries possess.

Worried over escalating tensions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, urging them to avoid “further military activity”.

“I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” Pompeo, who is accompanying President Donald Trump at the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said in Vietnam.

In London, Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain is deeply concerned over rising tensions between India and Pakistan, urging both the nuclear-armed nations to exercise restraint to avoid further escalation. (AGENCIES)