US Prez supports India’s concerns after Pulwama

Agencies

Washington, February 24:

US President Donald Trump has described  as “very dangerous” the situation between India and Pakistan after  the Pulwama terror attack, but said he can understand New Delhi’s  desire for something “very strong” as it has lost almost 50 people.

Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on February 14  in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when  a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad  (JeM) rammed a vehicle carrying a huge quantity of explosives into  their bus in Pulwama district.

India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after  the attack and highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as  an instrument of state policy.

The international community led by the US pressed Pakistan to deny  safe haven to terror groups operating form its soil and bring the  perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.

Trump, after his meeting with a visiting Chinese trade delegation  led by Vice Premier Liu He, told reporters in the Oval Office of  the White House on Friday that “in Kashmir, it’s very dangerous”.

The President referred to the possibility of a strong response from  India in the wake of the terrorist attack.

“India is looking at something very strong. And I mean, India just  lost almost 50 people with an attack. So, I could understand that  also,” he said when asked about India’s right to self-defence.

Responding to questions on the tense situation between the two South  Asian neighbours, Trump said the US is talking about it so does some  other nations, without mentioning them.

“We are talking and a lot of people are talking. But, it is a very,  very delicate balance going on right now. There’s a lot of problems  between India and Pakistan because of what just happened,” said the  US President.

“We’re very much involved in that, if that’s what you’re referring  to,” he said. Trump described the current situation between India and Pakistan  as very dangerous.

“It’s a terrible thing going on right now between Pakistan and India…  It is a very, very bad situation and it’s a very dangerous situation  between the two countries. We would like to see it stopped. A lot  of people were just killed and we want to see it stopped,” he said.

Trump claimed that his administration has developed a much better  relationship with Pakistan, even after he stopped USD 1.3 billion  in financial aid to Islamabad.

“I stopped Pakistan, the USD 1.3 billion that we were paying them. In the meantime, we may set up some meetings with Pakistan.

“Pakistan was taking very strong advantage of the United States  under other presidents and we were paying Pakistan 1.3 billion a  year. I ended that payment to Pakistan because they weren’t helping us in a way that they should have. And honestly, we’ve developed  a much better relationship with Pakistan over the last short period  of time than we had,” Trump said.

In the wake of the Pulwama attack, US National Security Adviser  John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval last week that  America supports India’s right to self-defence as both sides vowed  to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe haven  for JeM and other terror groups.

India has asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action  against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under  its control.

New Delhi also announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation  status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on  goods originating from Pakistan.

 

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