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UN chief spoke with India, Pak officials on rising tensions

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UN chief spoke with India, Pak officials on rising tensions
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United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres has not spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, but discussed with officials from India and Pakistan the heightened tensions arising after the Pulwama terror attack, a top official has said.

Tensions escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir which killed 40 CRPF personnel and was claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

After the suicide attack, India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot in Pakistan on February 26. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were killed.

The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial confrontation and captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over to India on Friday.

"We're fully aware of the situation. The Secretary-General has had no calls with those two Heads of Governments as far as I'm aware, but he's had contacts with both sides to express, I think, his concern and the need to do as much as anyone can to de-escalate the tensions," Guterres' spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Tuesday.

Dujarric was asked if the UN chief spoke with the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan on the rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

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