Berlin: Germany on Thursday urged Pakistan to take strong and effective action against terrorism by taking steps to eliminate the terror outfits operating in the country.
"There is terrorism on the ground. In Pakistan, too, every effort must be made to ensure that terrorist organisations, which are known to have their base in Pakistan, are not only not able to carry out their nefarious deeds there, but are in fact combated," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
He added that he spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi over the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, underlining that Germany is "very concerned about the current state of affairs".
Urging India and Pakistan to ensure that there is no escalation of India Pak tension, Maas further said, "I spoke on the telephone with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi about this a few days ago. We hope that the situation does not trigger an escalation."
"We know that the situation in Kashmir is not how we would wish it to be. But it is now up to both sides â both Pakistan and India â to use the utmost circumspection to ensure that this does not lead to a confrontation between the two countries," he added.
The German Foreign Minister noted that the perpetrators behind the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama in south Kashmir should not "walk free" and be brought to justice.
"And also, once the evidence is furnished, that those responsible for the terrible attack in Kashmir are held to account and do not walk free," Maas said.
Tensions spiralled between India and Pakistan after the Indian Air Force on Tuesday carried out aerial strikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror training camp in Balakot, in which a large number of terrorists were killed. The strikes were in response to the terror attack in Pulwama, in which about 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.
On Wednesday, India said it foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was âmissing in actionâ.
Pakistan later acknowledged that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who ejected across the Line of Control, is in its custody.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday in the country's Parliament that the IAF pilot will be released tomorrow as a "peace gesture".