/ Take ‘meaningful action’ against terror group: US tell Pakistan after strike on Jaish camp

Hindustan Times : Feb 27, 2019, 09:45 AM

The US on Wednesday asked Pakistan to take “meaningful action” against terrorist groups operating on its soil and urged both Islamabad and New Delhi to “exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost”, a day after India’s airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp in Balakot. “We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost.”

The US on Wednesday asked Pakistan to take “meaningful action” against terrorist groups operating on its soil and urged both Islamabad and New Delhi to “exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost”, a day after India’s airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp in Balakot.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo called the foreign ministers of both India and Pakistan separately after the Indian Air Force destroyed the Jaish camp in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, killing 325 militants and terror recruits.

India’s action came after 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers were killed in a suicide attack by an operative of Pakistan-based Jaish in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, sparking outrage in the country.“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,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“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,” Pompeo said.

“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 prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity,” he said.

Pompeo is currently in Vietnam to attend the second summit between US president Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.