China refuses to side with Pakistan, calls for restraint

BEIJING: China on Tuesday had advised restraint to India and Pakistan and gave a clear signal that it would not take sides to stand up for its ally Pakistan.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang stated that “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 further added that “We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and do more to improve their bilateral relations.” Since the Pulwama attack, Pakistan has been banking on China’s support and India’s stated that it would respond with force.

After the air strikes from the Indian Air Force, China showed no inclination to support Pakistan. Ahead of the meeting of Russia, India and China in a Chinese town, China was careful not to upset India.

In a pre-dawn strike on February 26, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets had targeted the “biggest training camp” of JeM in Balakot in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

Swaraj said the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties and the operation was non-military.

“It wasn’t a military operation, no military installation was targeted. The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against terror infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India,” she said.