Cambodia calls for India-Pakistan calm

(Phnom Penh) : The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has called for restraint amid tensions between India and Pakistan following air strikes from both sides after a suicide attack in the disputed Kashmir region killed 40 Indian soldiers.

“Cambodia follows with great concern the recent escalation of tension between Pakistan and India in the Kashmir region. As friends of both countries, Cambodia hopes that Pakistan and India exercise utmost restraint to avoid further armed clashes which would give rise to hostile sentiment among the peoples of the two countries,” the ministry said on Thursday.

“Cambodia strongly believes that Pakistan and India can work through negotiation to defuse the current tension and find appropriate solutions to their disputes through peaceful means,” the statement added.

“Cambodia wishes to reiterate its condemnation of the terrorist attack on February 14, 2019, in Pulwama [in Indian Kashmir] and its commitment to contribute to efforts in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the ministry said.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said Cambodia is a peace loving country, and so cannot do anything but request the two show restraint and open negotiations.

“Of all resolutions, nothing is better than those reached by returning to the negotiation table. Conflicts cannot be resolved by force, only through negotiation,” Phea said.

India struck militant camps in Pakistan on Tuesday after the attack on its security forces earlier this month. Pakistan said it had no choice but to retaliate with air strikes on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

An Indian Air Force warplane was shot down in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Wednesday after a dogfight with Pakistani jets.Pakistan said it will release the pilot on Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan was focused on de-escalation.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947.

A mob in India set fire to vehicles on Friday, in protest of Thursday’s attack on a paramilitary convoy in Kashmir