US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked India and Pakistan to exercise restraint following India's "counter-terrorism" actions on Tuesday and underlined the urgency for Pakistan to act against terrorist groups operating on its soil.
"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 prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity," Pompeo said in a statement released by the US State Department.
The Secretary said that he spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to emphasise the close security partnership between the US and India and the shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region.
"I also 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," the statement said.
India carried out a "non-military pre-emptive" air strike on the biggest training camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot, Pakistan, after receiving information that more terror attacks were being planned by the outfit across India, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
The strike, which was carried out against JeM camps in both Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in the early hours of Tuesday, was also in response to the terror attack by the group in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, earlier this month which killed at least forty jawans of the CRPF.