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UN chief calls for ‘maximum restraint’

United Nations, Feb 27: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for “maximum restraint” by India and Pakistan in wake of the tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

Guterres is on his way back to New York from Geneva and Dujarric told reporters, “I spoke to the Secretary-General not long ago, before he boarded his plane. He is obviously following the situation very closely and reiterates his urgent appeal to both the government of India and the government of Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that the situation does not further deteriorate”.

 

India has not officially given a number for those killed in the strikes beyond a statement by Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale that “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jehadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated”.

Pakistan has denied that there were casualties and asserted that the bombs hit an uninhabited area.

A suicide bomber attacked a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama on February 14 in Kashmir killing 49 troopers. JeM has said it had carried out the attack.

In Tuesday’s retaliation for the attack, IAF Mirage 2000 fighter jets backed by an Emb 145 early warning aircraft struck an area in Balakot in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

On Wednesday, Pakistani fighter jets flew into Indian air space in Poonch and Nowshera sector in the morning even as India claimed shooting down on of them on its way back.

Pakistan too said it managed to take down two Indian fighter jets and capture one pilot alive.