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EU urges 'maximum restraint' from India, Pakistan after air strike

New Delhi, Agencies | Updated : 26 February 2019, 06:34 PM
Pakistani officials have confirmed Indian planes breached its airspace and dropped a payload over Balakot. (Representational Image)
Pakistani officials have confirmed Indian planes breached its airspace and dropped a payload over Balakot. (Representational Image)

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday called on New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise ‘maximum restraint’ after fighter jets of Indian Air Force (IAF) attacked a militant camp in Pakistan, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed arch-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," EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

India said 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 (JeM) group.

Pakistani officials have confirmed Indian planes breached its airspace and dropped a payload over Balakot in the country's northwest, condemning it as "uncalled for aggression" but insisting there was no damage or casualties. 

Earlier, The EU asked Pakistan to take ‘clear and sustained’ actions targeting not only all UN-listed transnational terrorist groups but also individuals claiming responsibility for attacks in the wake of the Pulwama terror strike.

The statement was issued after the February 14 suicide attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission, urged Pakistan and India to urgently "de-escalate" the tension which has built up after the attack.

She had spoken to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday and discussed the current situation, a delegation of the European Union (EU) said in a statement.

Mogherini also highlighted the need to "continue addressing terrorism including clear and sustained actions targeting not only all United Nations-listed transnational terrorist groups but also individuals claiming responsibility for such attacks" the statement said.

She said the EU's policy has always been to promote a dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out differences.

After the attack, which was claimed by the UN-proscribed Jaish, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack and highlighted Pakistan's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

India asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control.

New Delhi also announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan.

First Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 05:53 PM
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