Trump says Pulwama attack was a horrible situation

Washington: Reacting to the 14 February terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, US President Donald Trump described it as horrible.

“I have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. That was a horrible situation. We will have comment at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if India and Pakistan get along,” Trump stated when speaking to reporters at the Oval Office.

The State Department issued a statement that the US was in close communication with the Indian government and assured a strong support.

Speaking to reporters at press conference, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said the US was committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism. As the perpetrators involved in the deadly suicide attack claimed allegiance to the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, all countries should uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolutions to deny any support for terrorists.

He further said that the US urges Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to punish anyone responsible.

In the aftermath of the attack many officials from the Trump government condemned the act. National Security Advisor to Trump, John Bolton supported India’s right to self-defence. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders asked Pakistan to immediately take action against the JeM and its leaders.

Alyssa Ayres from the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank yesterday slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks that allegations against his country are without any evidence and that his government would act only if India provides actionable evidence.

Responding to allegations on Pakistan’s involvement in the attack, yesterday, in a video message, Imran Khan said, his nation was looking for stability and if India took action against Pakistan, they would retaliate. “I understand this is an election year and it would look good if the government took action during this time,” he said in the video.

“Unfortunately, Pakistan has not taken action against LeT and JeM despite evidence. No one has been brought to justice for the Mumbai attack,” said Ayres.

Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with over 100 kg of explosives into a bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama district on 14 February. 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured in the incident. Since the Uri attack in 2016, the Pulwama incident has been termed as one of the worst terror attacks in the recent past. The suicide bomber was identified as Adil Ahmed, who had joined the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in 2018. The terror group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

NT Bureau