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Keep calm, Beijing tells India, Pakistan

world Updated: Jan 11, 2013 19:10 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

China on Friday called for calm between India and Pakistan as the relationship between the two countries headed for a diplomatic storm over the killing of military personnel along the Line of Control (LoC).

The Chinese foreign ministry said the two countries, which are both armed with nuclear arsenal and have a history of wars, should resolve their disputes as both are important for peace in the region.

"Both India and Pakistan are important countries in South Asia. The relations between them are important to peace, stability and prosperity of South Asia," foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at the regular press conference on Friday.

Hong avoided answering a question about Pakistan asking for an UN probe into the killing of two Indian military personnel --- one of whom was beheaded according to reports - but said as neighbours both should address issues calmly.

"As a neighbour and friend of both India and Pakistan we sincerely hope that the two countries can properly (and) calmly resolve their disputes through dialogue and consultation so as to maintain peace and stability of South Asia," he said.

On the spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, which have taken more than 120 lives so far, Hong said: "China opposes all forms of terrorism and condemns strongly the attacks in Pakistan. We express deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the injured and bereaved families."

"China firmly supports Pakistan government and people's unswerving attempts for maintaining national stability," he said.

Both China and Pakistan consider each other as "all weather" friends and Beijing, according to analysts, is fast replacing Washington as Islamabad's main ally.