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Old February 26th, 2019, 10:26 PM
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Post IAF strike: US backs India, asks Pakistan to forget military response and shut down terror groups

IAF strike: US backs India, asks Pakistan to forget military response and shut down terror groups



WASHINGTON: In a statement that left no doubt where its support lies, the
Trump administration on Tuesday described India’s airstrike on the Balakot
terrorist training facility as “counter-terrorism actions,” emphazised
Washington’s close security partnership with India and the shared goal of
maintaining peace and security in the region, and told Pakistan to deescalate current tensions by avoiding military action and take meaningful
action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who is in Hanoi with President Trump
for talks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong UN, spoke to India’s external
affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah
Mehmood Qureshi underscore these points. “I expressed to both
Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both
Ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity,” Pompeo said.

The full text of the statement:
Concern Regarding India-Pakistan Tensions
Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasize
our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region. I also spoke to Pakistani
Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil. I expressed to both Ministers that we
encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both Ministers to
prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity.
The US statement, by its very wording, tone, and sequence, acknowledged India’s right to conduct the punitive strikes against
terrorist camps that were first recorded by US’ own intelligence in 2004. Although the statement eventually encouraged both
India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, it put the onus on Islamabad to do so by abjuring military response against India and
instead directing meaningful action against terrorist groups.


The US statement on the subject comes hours after Pakistan’s military spokesman Abdul Ghafoor threatened the country
would retaliate at a time and place of it’s choosing, following up on his Prime Minister Imran Khan’s warning that Pakistan will
not only consider retaliation but WILL retaliate against any Indian attack.
Neither man mentioned the cause of the tensions: Pakistan’s unceasing hosting and use against India of terrorist groups that
have been identified worldwide and proscribed by the United Nations.
Pakistan continues to coddle the Jaish-e-Mohammed despite the group taking credit and boasting about the Pulwama suicide
bombing that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary forces. In fact, Pakistani extremists and trolls celebrated the deaths on
social media.

Throughout last week, the Trump administration indicated it supported India’s right to self-defense against such Pakistani
terrorist depredations, exercising far less restraint than previous US administrations headed by Presidents Obama and Bush.

Indeed, world opinion, except for a few members of the Jammu and Kashmir contact group at the OIC, has solidly lined up behind New Delhi, the outcome of long years of restraint against Pakistan’s use of terrorism.


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