CANBERRA, May 23: Australia on Thursday urged its citizens living in Pakistan to leave and advised people to defer all travel to Pakistan as tension escalated with India over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

The Australian government also called the Indian and Pakistan high commissioners to meetings in Canberra to voice its concern about the possibility of hostilities between the two countries.

It said Australia had no immediate plans to evacuate diplomatic staff from either country.

New Zealand has also warned its citizens against all but essential business travel to Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australia asked India and Pakistan to take

all possible measures to reduce the escalating tensions between them, stressing the need for dialogue and strong leadership to avoid hostilities.—Reuters

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