Beijing: China on Tuesday told the international community not to target Pakistan following the Pulwama suicide bombing in Kashmir and said it will stand by Islamabad during testing times and firmly support its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The two long-standing allies at a meeting of Foreign Ministers Wang Yi and Shah Mehmood Qureshi discussed the Pulwama attack which killed 40 CRPF troopers and led to a major crisis in India-Pakistan relations.
Qureshi told his Chinese counterpart about the increase in what he claimed were violations of human rights of Kashmiris in India after the attack.
Qureshi also said that Pakistan “was and is” ready for a dialogue with India to arrest the deteriorating bilateral situation which he said could have spiralled out of control after India bombed a terrorist training camp at Balkot.
The two Ministers met under the framework of China-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Beijing a week after China for the fourth time blocked a resolution at the UN to declare JeM leader Masood Azhar an international terrorist. His outfit claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.
Pakistan is faced with international opprobrium for not acting tough against terror outfits at home, with France sanctioning Azhar and freezing his assets.
On Tuesday, China came to the defence of its ally Pakistan, again asking other countries not to vilify it.
“No matter how things change in the world and in the region, China will firmly support Pakistan in upholding its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and dignity,” Wang said.
Wang said that a peaceful and stable South Asia was in the common interest of regional counties.
“China commends the constructive efforts taken by Pakistan to ease the situation. We call Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and peacefully resolve their differences.”
After the Indian air raid, Pakistan tried to pay back in kind by scrambling its fighter jets which led to a dogfight with Indian jets. Both sides lost one jet each while an India pilot was captured by Pakistan, only to be released within days.