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India, Pak should take steps to de-escalate tensions on borders: US Senators


Press Trust of India Washington
Two top US Senators on Thursday urged both India and Pakistan to take steps to "de-escalate volatile situation on the borders, avoid further provocative actions and work to reduce tensions.
They also accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorist groups that have threatened stability in Asia and around the world.
In a joint statement, Senators Mark R Warner and John Cornyn, co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate India Caucus, condemned the horrific attack on Indian security forces by a Pakistan-based terrorist group.
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack by Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.
India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.
Pakistan on Wednesday claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot.
"For too long Pakistan has harboured terrorist groups that have threatened stability in Asia and around the world. At the same time, it is critical that both India and Pakistan take immediate measures to de-escalate the volatile situation along their border," they said.
"We urge the governments of both nuclear-armed neighbours to step back and avoid further provocative actions while keeping open lines of communication and working to reduce tensions," Warner and Cornyn said.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal, in a separate statement said that reports of escalating tension between India and Pakistan are extremely disturbing.
"We cannot risk nuclear conflict. I appeal to both side to seek a diplomatic solution as soon as possible. This is no time for irresponsible posturing," he said.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 10:41 PM IST

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