Pakistan PM offers talks with India amid tensions

Source:AFP Published: 2019/2/27 22:08:42

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan called for talks with India Wednesday and warned of a catastrophe should the conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals continue to escalate.

"Can we afford any miscalculation with the kind of weapons that we have and you have?" he said in a televised statement after both sides said they had shot down each other's warplanes.

"I once again invite India to come to the negotiating table," said Khan, who has called for dialogue with New Delhi in the past.

"Better sense should prevail," he added, before alluding to the nuclear arsenal of both South Asian countries.

"If escalation begins from here, where will it go?"

Khan also repeated the military's earlier statement that it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes, which sent tensions spiralling on Wednesday, fuelling fears of a fresh conflict between India and Pakistan.

"Today we shot down two Indian MiGs which crossed our border," he said, adding: "Pilots are with us."

India has said that just one of its planes was shot down, but that it also shot down a Pakistani fighter jet in air battles over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

The Pakistani military has denied that any of its planes were downed. 

China called on Pakistan and India on Wednesday to "exercise restraint" and seek dialogue after Islamabad said it shot down two Indian warplanes in its airspace over disputed Kashmir.

"What we are concerned about is that India and Pakistan, as important countries of the South Asian subcontinent, can maintain good neighborly and friendly relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.

We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint, take initiatives that are conducive to promoting dialogue, meet halfway and make active efforts for lasting peace and stability in South Asia, Lu said.

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