Beijing/Islamabad, March 7: China on Thursday lauded its 'all-weather ally' Pakistan for 'exercising restraint' during tension with India in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry also said Pakistan has thanked Beijing for its 'objective and fair position'. The statement was released following the visit of vice-foreign minister Kong Xuanyou to Pakistan.
"China has paid close attention to the present situation between Pakistan and India, and appreciates Pakistan remaining calm and exercising restraint from the beginning, and persisting in pushing to lower the temperature with India via dialogue," the Chinese foreign ministry said. The statement quoted the Pakistani side thanking China’s 'objective and fair position' on the situation and for its efforts to promote the 'cooling' of the situation. Pervez Musharraf Admits Pakistan Intel Used JeM to Carry Out Attacks in India During His Tenure.
Earlier today, Kong said China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners who have always shared firm mutual support in issues concerning each other's core interests. Beijing has maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and it does not wish to see any actions that violate rules of international relations, Kong said, reports Xinhua news agency. India, Pakistan to Meet on March 14 to Finalise Modalities For Kartarpur Corridor.
China urged both sides to avoid any actions that could further escalate the situation, show goodwill and flexibility, and engage each other in dialogues as soon as possible so as to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, he added. During his visit, Kong met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He also held talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.
The tensions escalated after the February 14 Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. Two weeks after the suicide attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Indian Air Force destroyed its camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. A day after the IAF’s air strikes, the Pakistan Army Violated the Indian Air Space.
In the engagement, one of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets was shot down. Meanwhile, India also lost one Mig-21 Bison warplane. After the ensuing battle, Pakistan captured an IAF pilot of the crashed Mig. However, earlier in the day, Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced in the national assembly to release the IAF pilot as a peace gesture.