United Nations: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called upon India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and take all feasible steps to ensure protection of civilians in the wake of “escalation of violence” along the LoC that has resulted in a number of casualties.

“The Secretary-General expresses serious concern about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, which reportedly resulted in a number of casualties on both sides, including civilians. He conveys his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives,” a statement issued by his spokesperson at the United Nations on Tuesday said.

Mr. Ban called upon the governments of India and Pakistan to “exercise maximum restraint and take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians”.  The statement said he urges both countries to continue to address their differences through dialogue.

“In that regard, he welcomes the planned meeting between their respective National

Security Advisors on 23-24 August, and expresses the hope that it will lead to positive outcomes,” the statement added.

There has been escalation of tension between the two countries following terror attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and incidents of ceasefire violations ahead of talks between their NSAs.

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Sartaz Aziz in New Delhi for talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23, 2015 as decided in a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in July at Ufa in Russia.

Six people have been killed in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas since Independence Day.

India on August 16 had summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and conveyed its strong protest and anger over “unprovoked” firing by Pakistani troops and “systematic targeting” of civilian population along the LoC.

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