US President Donald Trump has described as “horrible” the deadly terror attack by militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Pulwama, as his administration offered full support to India to combat terrorism and asked Islamabad to punish anyone responsible for the “heinous act”.
The suicide attack on February 14 left more than 40 CRPF personnel dead and led to an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.
Trump told reporters at the White House that it would be “wonderful” if the two neighbours get along.
“I have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. We will have comment (on it) at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if they (India and Pakistan) get along,” Trump said in response to a question.
“That (the terrorist attack) was a horrible situation. We are getting reports. We will have a statement to put out,” Trump said.
At a separate press conference, the State Department said the US has been in close communication with the Indian government “to express not only our condolences but our strong support”.
“We’re committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all of its forms,” State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said.
“The perpetrator of that heinous act claimed allegiance to the United Nations-designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad, and we call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists,” Palladino said.
The US has a close, cooperative relationship with India which includes counter-terrorism operations, he said.
“So we are committed to working with India, the Indian government, and on these counter-terrorism efforts, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including at the United Nations,” Palladino said.
He said the US has been in contact with Pakistan on this issue.
“We urge Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to punish anyone responsible.”
Following the attack, Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton has supported India’s right to self-defence.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Bolton and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, in separate statements, have asked Pakistan to immediately take action against JeM and its leaders and end support to terrorists.
Meanwhile, US legislators continued to strongly condemn the attack.
“The terror attack targeting Indian soldiers in Kashmir is horrendous and I condemn it in the strongest terms. My prayers and sympathies are with the victims and their families,” said senator Ted Cruz.
So far, as many as 20 of the 100 US senators have issued their support for India in the aftermath of the attack.
Alyssa Ayres from the think-tank Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who in a speech sought proof for the terrorist attack for them to take action.
Khan on Tuesday said he would act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama terror attack if New Delhi shares “actionable intelligence”, but warned against any act of “revenge”.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan has not taken action against LeT and JeM despite evidence. No one has been brought to justice for the Mumbai attack,” Ayres said.