Pakistan welcomes Iran’s offer to help settle Islamabad-New Delhi differences
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Pakistan welcomes Iran’s offer to help settle Islamabad-New Delhi differences

“This is what we expect from our friend and brotherly country of Iran,” Major General Asif Ghafoor told IRNA on Saturday. In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi that Tehran was ready to work with Islamabad and New Delhi to help resolve their differences through dialogue. Zarif was scheduled to talk to Indian Foreign Minister Vijay Keshav Gokhale over the phone later in the day. Ghafoor expressed his gratitude to the Iranian government for the offer adding that countries like Iran, Turkey and China can to a great extent help resolve the issue. Also in a statement on Saturday, Pakistani Embassy in Tehran called on the Islamic republic to play an active role in resolving tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi and help find a diplomatic solution to the problem. Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated dramatically since February 14, when Indian paramilitary forces on the New Delhi-controlled side of Kashmir were hit by a deadly bomb attack orchestrated by Pakistan-based militants. The tensions reached a peak on Tuesday, when India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said his country had conducted “preemptive” airstrikes against what it described as a militant training camp in Balakot near Kashmir, shortly after the Pakistani military accused New Delhi of violating its territory in the Kashmir region. According to an Indian government source, some 300 militants, were killed in the strikes. Iran, which has extensive diplomatic and trade ties with both countries, has advised them against escalating the situation. Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory. Indian troops are in constant clashes with armed groups seeking Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan. India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

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