WASHINGTON -  In a blunt message, the United States has told Pakistani authorities to exercise restraint when it comes to using nuclear weapons, alluding to the ‘rhetoric’ coming out of Islamabad lately.

"... about some of the rhetoric from the Pakistani Government and the possibility of using nukes or nuclear weapons, I would just say nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said at his daily press briefing on Friday.

"And that’s my message publicly and that’s certainly our message directly to the Pakistani authorities," he said in response to a question.

Toner's statement came after Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif's warning that Pakistan was open to using tactical devices against India if its safety was threatened.

Asked if the US had got any assurance from India or Pakistan regarding the situation on the LoC and their future course of action, Toner said Washington was following the situation on the ground very closely.

"From our perspective, we urge calm and restraint by both sides. We understand that the Pakistani and Indian militaries have been in communication and we believe that continued communication between them is important to reduce tensions. I think we certainly don’t want to see any kind of escalation and any certainly any kind of break in that communication. 

"We have repeatedly and consistently expressed our concerns regarding the danger that cross-border terrorism poses for the region, and that certainly includes the recent attacks in Uri. And we continue to urge actions to combat and de-escalate and delegitimize, rather, terrorist groups like Lashkar-e Tayyiba, Haqqani Network, as well as Jaish-e-Mohammad," he said.

He said US Secretary of State John Kerry had talked over the telephone to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

"We are very concerned about the situation there. We don’t want to see it escalate any further. And as part of that concern, the Secretary is certainly engaged and talking to senior Indian leadership," he added.

Meanwhile, in New York, India’s UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin claimed Pakistan approaching the United Nations over what he called "surgical strikes" in Azad Kashmir had not found any resonance in the world body, and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire has not directly observed any firing along the LoC.

Akbaruddin dismissed remarks made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents, a reference to India's firing across the LoC on September 29.

I have nothing to say because what [Dujarric] said was directly observed. It’s a call that they have to take. I cannot place myself in their boots and directly observe something, the Indian envoy said when asked to comment on Dujarric’s remarks.

Akbaruddin said the facts on the ground do not change whether somebody acknowledges or not. Facts are facts, we presented the facts and that’s where we stand. 

Dujarric had said, "We are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities, but did not "directly" observe them.

Akbaruddin asserted that while Pakistan has reached out to the UN Chief and the 15-nation Council over the deteriorating situation in Kashmir, its call for intervention by the world body has not found any resonance as there was no further discussion on the matter.

Yesterday there was some action. You are also aware of the reaction,  Akbaruddin said referring to Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi meeting New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard Van Bohemen, president of the Council for the month of September, and raising in the UNSC the issue of the action by India.