Canada urges India, Pakistan to engage in dialogue

 Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland

Ottawa (IANS) Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has urged India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any further military escalation over rising tensions between the two countries.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Freeland said that "Canada is gravely concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan", Xinhua news agency reported.

"Dialogue between India and Pakistan is needed to identify a durable diplomatic solution and maintain peace and security in the region," the minister said.

Early Wednesday, Pakistan said it took one Indian pilot into custody, a day after Indian fighter jets conducted an air strike in Pakistan.

Hostilities between the two countries have increased since a suicide attack in Kashmir killed over 40 Indian soldiers earlier this month. India's air strikes this week represented the country's first attack inside Pakistan since 1971.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called for peace talks between the two nations on Wednesday.

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