In a stern warning to Pakistan, Washington has asked Islamabad not to resort to any military action in the wake of Indian Air Force (IAF) carrying out air strikes on JeM terror camps in Balakot, located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of India’s western neighbour.
The United States has instead asked Pakistan to take “meaningful” action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.
A statement issued by the State Department said that Secretary Mike Pompeo spoke to both India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani Foreign Minister SM Qureshi and asked both the countries to exercise “restraint” and avoid “escalation” at any cost.
Significantly, the statement referred to IAF strikes as "counter-terrorism actions".
"Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasize our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region," the statement issued on behalf of Pompeo said.
"I spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," it said.
"I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid military activity," it added.