Pakistan welcomes Turkey's role as mediator with India
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
"We welcome the Turkish offer of mediation not only in defusing the current situation but also in helping to bring lasting peace and stability to South Asia by helping Pakistan and India sit together and have a meaningful result-oriented conversation on the core issue that afflicts South Asia, and that is Kashmir," Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi told Anadolu Agency.
Qazi said Turkey is a "great friend and brother" of Pakistan.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 28 and briefed him on the situation as it evolved over the past few days and the efforts Khan made to de-escalate the crisis.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Feb. 27 that Ankara is always willing to contribute to easing tensions between Pakistan and India.
On Feb. 27, the two countries engaged in their first aerial encounters in decades, with Pakistan claiming to have downed two Indian aircraft that had entered its airspace and India claiming to have shot down one Pakistani aircraft.
Pakistan also captured an Indian pilot who was arrested by troops after the downing of his aircraft.
Qazi added that Pakistan has always sought to reduce tensions and promote peace in South Asia.
But he cautioned that any miscalculation between the two countries would cost the region "very dearly.”
"The two sides need to talk. All problems can be addressed through meaningful conversation," he said.
Qazi said Pakistan will not escalate tensions further and is "determined" to exercise restraint.