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'US deeply concerned about rising tensions between India, Pak'


ANI Asia
The United States is "deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan" and has called for both the sides to take "immediate steps" to de-escalate the situation.
"(The United States is) deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and calls on both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation," a National Security Council official told the Voice of America.
"The potential risks associated with further military action by either side are unacceptably high for both countries, their neighbours and the international community," the official further cautioned.
US Senator Edward Markey, who is also the national leader on energy, environment, climate, and telecom, also raised concern over the ongoing tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
"The heightening tensions between Pakistan and India are deeply alarming. These two nuclear-armed states must commit to resolving this crisis peacefully, and the U.S. should stand ready to assist. We must not allow conventional tensions to go nuclear," Markey tweeted on Wednesday (local time).
The comments come in the wake of an Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman being captured by the Pakistani army on Wednesday when the Pakistan Air Force violated Indian air space.
Fighter jets from the Indian Air Force repulsed the morning raid launched by Pakistani F-16 fighter jets which prevented damage on Indian troop positions or infrastructure.
India has since sought the immediate and safe return of the personnel, strongly underlining that "no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody."
On Tuesday, India launched an anti-terror strike against a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror training camp in Pakistan's Balakot, in which a large number of terrorists have been killed by the Indian Air Force, according to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
The air strike was carried out in the aftermath of the February 14 terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, which claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based JeM staked responsibility for the attacks, which have been widely condemned by the international community. There has been mounting global pressure against Pakistan to stop providing support and a safe haven to terrorists ever since.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 1:28 AM IST

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