Beijing, February 26: With tensions soaring between India and Pakistan following the pre-emptive strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the Line of Control (LoC), China issued a statement appealing both the subcontinental nations to "exercise restraint". Instead of a military confrontation, the Chinese government has appealed Islamabad and New Delhi to cooperate for combating terror.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, while briefing the media, said Beijing has "taken note" of the action carried out by India in the wee hours of Tuesday. PM Modi Says 'Nation in Safe Hands' Hours After IAF Raids Largest JeM Camp in Pakistan.
Appealing for calm, Kang said, "We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and do more to improve mutual their bilateral relations."
"I want to say that India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia. A sound relationship and cooperation between the two serves the interests of both the countries and peace and stability in South Asia," he added, as clamour for war grows on both sides of the Indo-Pak border.
Watch: How IAF Avenged Pulwama Attack With Surgical Strike in Balakote
Meanwhile, Islamabad has warned New Delhi of a stiff retaliation at a "time and place of our choosing". The National Security Committee (NSC), whose meeting was convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan following the pre-dawn attack, said "India has committed uncalled for aggression" which deserves a retaliation.
The air raid, termed by Indian analysts as "surgical strike 2", was carried out at 3am in the morning. The Mirage 2000 jets were sent with 1,000-kg of explosives, to be dropped on the largest Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp in Balakot.
Sections of the Indian media, quoting sources, said upto 300 militants have been killed. The government, however, has refrained from confirming the number of casualties. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said "large number" of Jaish operatives have been eliminated.
Gokhale clarified that the strike was "pre-emptive", as the Indian intelligence had gathered alerts which suggested that the Jaish was planning more Pulwama-style fidayeen attacks. He further added that the location was carefully chosen to ensure "no civilian casualty".