–Top diplomat says ‘US was and will continue to be engaged with the issue between India and Pakistan’
MANILA: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he is hopeful that the United States will be able to play a part in de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.
Pompeo was talking to reporters in the Philippine capital on his way back from the second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.
The US secretary of state said that US “was and will continue to be engaged with the issue between India and Pakistan”.
“I spent a good deal of time on the phone last night talking to leaders in both countries, making sure there was good information exchanged, encouraging each country to not take any action that would escalate and create increased risk,” he added.
“I had good conversations, and I am hopeful that we can take down the tension there, at least for the time being, so they can begin to have conversations that don’t portend risk of escalation to either of the two countries”, he asserted while sharing that the US was “working hard” on resolving the conflict.
Earlier, United States President Donald Trump said that “reasonably attractive news” has been received from Pakistan and India and hoped that escalation between the two countries “will be coming to an end”.
The White House had earlier condemned the intensifying conflict and urged “both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation.”
“The potential risks associated with further military action by either side are unacceptably high for both countries, their neighbours and the international community,” a National Security Council official said on the condition of anonymity.
Tensions between Pakistan and India have heightened after New Delhi, without any proof, had blamed Pakistan for harbouring terrorists behind the Pulwama attack. PM Khan, in response, called for dialogue and urged India to provide actionable intelligence.
On Tuesday, Indian military aircraft had violated the Line of Control (LoC) as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed it had shot down two Indian aircraft which had crossed over LoC and had taken one Indian pilot in custody. PM Khan on Wednesday once again invited India for talks, stressing “better sense should prevail.”