Statement by European bloc follows New Delhi airstrike inside Pakistani territory
The E.U. on Tuesday called on New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise “maximum restraint” after India claimed its warplanes had attacked a militant camp in Pakistan, sending tensions soaring between the neighboring rivals.
“We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions,” E.U. spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.
India claimed its warplanes attacked a militant camp where Pakistan-backed fighters were preparing suicide attacks on its cities, killing a “very large number” of militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammad group. While Pakistani officials have confirmed Indian planes breached its airspace and dropped a payload over Balakot in the country’s northwest they deny any damage or casualties in the “uncalled for aggression” from India.
The escalation came after a Feb. 14 suicide bombing claimed by JeM that killed 40 troops in India-Occupied Kashmir, setting off a chain of threats and counter-warnings between the neighbors, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.