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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister in Islamabad to defuse Indo-Pak tensions 

Beijing, March 6

China on Wednesday announced that Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou is in Islamabad to discuss the Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack, as it called for the creation of an “enabling atmosphere” for its close ally Pakistan to cooperate with “other parties”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Vice Foreign Minister Kong’s Islamabad visit is “designed for communication with Pakistan for the situation concerning both India and Pakistan.”

“China has been promoting peace and stability in this region. We hope that Pakistan and India will maintain friendly relations,” he told a media briefing here.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir on February 14.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over to India on Friday. 

China has repeatedly urged India and Pakistan to “exercise restraint” and asked New Delhi to carry out its fight against terrorism through international cooperation.

“I hope the two sides can show some goodwill, embrace each other halfway, properly resolve their differences through dialogue. China will play constructive role to promote dialogue between them,” Lu said.

When asked about the main thrust of Kong’s visit and whether he would discuss more counter terrorism efforts with Pakistan, Lu said, “In fact, Pakistan has been making efforts and exercised policies to combat terrorism. We think we should encourage this.”              

“We hope relevant parties will create an enabling atmosphere to help Pakistan to cooperate with other parties to form synergy,” he said, without directly referring to India.

Responding to a question whether Kong would visit India too, Lu said, “China is in contact with India and Pakistan concerning the current circumstances.”                

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Muhammad Qureshi earlier said that China would send a special envoy to Pakistan and India to defuse the tensions.

When asked whether Kong would also discuss the recent resolution at the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the Chinese city of Wenzhou where the three countries agreed for policy coordination to eradicate breeding grounds of terrorism, Lu said that the resolution of root causes of terrorism is also important.

“As to counter terrorism issue in the trilateral meeting, I shall say a key point is that terrorism is a complex issue. We should address the symptom and the root causes of terrorism that is the premise for what was proposed by foreign Ministers of the three countries,” he said.

About the latest resolution submitted by France, the UK and the US in the UN Security Council to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Lu said China would take a conducive decision to resolve the differences.

China so far stonewalled India’s efforts to declare Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC.

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