LONDON   -   The United States and the United Kingdom prevented India from yet another strike in April amid persistent tensions between the nuclear armed neighbours, officials said. Senior foreign ministry officials in Islamabad told The Nation that there were ‘real threats’ from India but the influential countries played their role to stop India from crossing the ‘red line’.

“Thing could have been worse if Pakistan had not raised the issue. Foreign Minister (Shah Mehmood Qureshi)’s warning (in April) did the trick. The US, the UK and others sprang to action,” said one official.

Another official said the threat had not completely subsided. “There is still a risk. India is not ready to accept our peace offers,” he added. The official said the US and the UK played a good role to stop India. Last month, Foreign Minister Qureshi said Pakistan had reliable intelligence that India was hatching a new conspiracy to commit another act of aggression against it. He claimed the action could take place from April 16th to 20th.

The FM said in order to justify its military action against Pakistan and to increase diplomatic pressure against it, a new drama can be created in Occupied Kashmir on the pattern of Pulwama. He said keeping in view these facts the Foreign Office held a meeting of P5 ambassadors. “They were apprised of Pakistan’s apprehensions on developments taking place in the neighbouring country,” he elaborated, hinting at how the powerful countries helped.

Pakistan had earlier also asked the US to press India to respond to the goodwill gestures as Islamabad released dozens of Indian fishermen.

The United Kingdom has already conveyed to Pakistan and India that it was ready to host Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi - or any new elected Indian premier after the national polls - for talks. There have been speculations of a big meeting in London on the sidelines of cricket World Cup in the coming weeks.

Indian election trend so far suggests that Narendra Modi will win the election again, albeit with a reduced margin of victory. He has taken a harsh stance against Pakistan during the election campaign to win hardline right-wing votes but its hoped that Indian position of brinkmanship will change once the election fever is over and there will be calls from within Indian for constructive dialogue with Pakistan. Imran Khan and the Indian PM are likely to visit London to watch World Cup cricket matches in the same week of June this year and there was a strong possibility of both the leaders meeting.

Pakistan-India ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place. The nuclear armed neighbours have fought three wars since gaining independence from the British in 1947. Tensions between Pakistan and India have been high since the killing of a Kashmiri freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, in July 2016. An attack on Indian forces in September 2016 - that killed 19 soldiers in Uri area of held Kashmir - further heightened the tensions. India also claimed it had carried a “surgical strike” to avenge the Uri attack. Pakistan rejected the Indian assertion.

In February, India accused Pakistan of backing the Pulwama attack that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers. The latest confrontation erupted after the suicide bombing on February 14. The attack was allegedly claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Pakistan denied any link. In the brawl after the Pulwama attack, Pakistan downed two Indian jets. An Indian pilot was captured but later released as a goodwill gesture.

Pakistani Officials said no plan had been finalised yet but a London visit in June was part of the PM’s plan.

British government officials are keen for both countries to reinitiate contact and take steps for reduction of tension which flared up massively in the last few days after the Pulwama attack.