ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s foreign minister appealed to the UN Secretary General on Tuesday to help ease tension with India that has escalated sharply following a suicide bomb attack in Kashmir, that India blamed on Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, facing an election by May, has warned Pakistan to expect a “strong response” to the bombing claimed by a Pakistan-linked militant group, raising fears of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.
The Pakistani appeal follows days of rising tension between the old rivals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near a CRPF convoy in Kashmir on Thursday, killing at least 40 paramilitary police.
Jaish-e Mohammad, a militant group said to be based in Pakistan which wants Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, claimed responsibility but the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.
“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.
“India must be asked to conduct an open and credible investigation on Pulwama incident,” he said.