BEIJING: China has called upon India and Pakistan to exercise “restraint” and re-engage in dialogue in the backdrop of growing tensions between the two countries following the attack on Sunday in Uri, which killed 18 Indian soldiers.

“Recent violent clashes and attacks caused some casualties and strains in India-Pakistan relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said during the regular Foreign Ministry briefing.

He added: “We are concerned about that. We hope all relevant parties can exercise restraint and avoid escalating tensions.”

The spokesman described India and Pakistan as “important regional countries,” which should resolve their differences through direct dialogue, in the interest of regional peace and security. “Both India and Pakistan are important regional countries and we hope they have more dialogue and properly deal with disputes and remain committed to peace, stability and security of the region,” he said.

Mr. Lu was responding to a question on India’s designation of the Uri incident as a cross-border terrorist attack, and Pakistan’s accusation that New Delhi was seeking to divert attention from the strife in Kashmir.

Mr. Lu stressed that China pursue a “consistent position regarding counter-terrorism. “We oppose all forms of terrorism and believe in enhanced international cooperation to deal with this threat” and safeguard peace.”

Contrary to India’s position accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism, Mr. Lu on September 19, had signaled that New Delhi and Islamabad should “enhance counter-terrorism cooperation". “Only this way can they safeguard peace.”