New Delhi: The United States has asked Pakistan to take “meaningful steps” against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan’s soil. Pakistan, in turn, has assured the US that it will deal firmly with all terrorists and take steps to de-escalate tensions with India, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a tweet.
Bolton’s call with Pakistan came during the ongoing visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. On the first day of his official visit, the top Indian diplomat met the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A read out from the US State Department said, “Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Secretary Gokhale discussed the importance of bringing those responsible for the attack to justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.”
It is important to note that US NSA and Indian NSA Ajit Doval have spoken thrice since the Pulwama terror attack whose responsibility was taken by Pakistan based United Nations listed terror group JeM.
The first time American NSA spoke with Indian NSA was 15th Feb, just a day after Pulwama terror attack and tweeted “Pakistan must crack down on JeM and all terrorists operating from its territory” and said, “Countries should uphold UNSC responsibilities to deny safe haven and support for terrorists”.
The ministry of external affairs readout of the Bolton-Doval talks of 15th February had mentioned that Ambassador Bolton supports India’s right to self-defence against cross-border terrorism. He also offered “all assistance” to India to bring the perpetrators and backers of the Pulwama terror attack promptly to justice.
India on 26th February launched strikes against JeM terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan. United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the strikes as a “counter-terrorism action”. In a statement he said, “following Indian counter-terrorism action on February 26, I spoke with Indian minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj to emphasise our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region”
(With inputs from Sidhant Sibal)