Pakistani PM offers cooperation in probe into Indian-controlled Kashmir attack

APG to present Pakistan's report to FATF group meetings that are to be held from Feb 18 to 22. — File

APG to present Pakistan's report to FATF group meetings that are to be held from Feb 18 to 22. — File

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan offered Tuesday to hold talks with India, even as he warned New Delhi to refrain from launching any attacks on his country following last week's suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The fighting went on for several hours in the Pulwama district, south of India-administered Kashmir's main city of Srinaga, where Indian soldiers were searching for militants tied to the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed last week's attack.

India has accused neighboring Pakistan of being behind the spike in violence, claiming it has "incontrovertible evidence" that the country had a "direct hand" in last week's bomb blast - the deadliest such attack on security forces since the beginning of an insurgency in the disputed territory that began in the late 1980s.

A police offcial told said that the cordon was laid in the area following credible inputs about the presence of some militants.

"You may also consider asking India to refrain from further escalating the situation and enter into dialogue with Pakistan and the Kashmiris to calm the situation down".

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said it would try to "de-escalate" rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad. Following the terrorist attack, Trump's National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has supported India's right to self-defense. In response to that, India carried out "surgical strikes" which involved Indian soldiers crossing the de facto border to hit Pakistani posts.

Pakistan has recalled its ambassador from New Delhi for consultations amid growing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, the Foreign Office in Islamabad said on February 18. On Kashmir, Khan added, "In India, there should be a new vision".

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At a separate news conference, the State Department Deputy Spokesperson said the U.S. has been in close communication with the Indian government "to express not only our condolences but our strong support". The two countries have fought three declared wars since their formation in 1947 and countless undeclared conflicts.

India has accused Pakistan of supporting the attack, and amid nationwide calls for reprisals, Singh said: "There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket".

In a letter Monday to the U.N. secretary-general, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on the United Nations to intervene.

The statement said many students are reported to have fled their universities in fear.

"We are deeply concerned at the increasing tensions between the two countries", said United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Television anchors positioned themselves as the most patriotic Indians of all, leading emotionally charged discussions about the pending "crushing" riposte to Pakistan.

The group has in the past been a useful tool for Pakistan's intelligence services wanting to foment unrest across the border, and authorities may now be reluctant to confront them, in case they turn against the Pakistani state as some of their members have done in the past.

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