Punish those behind Pulwama attack, US tells Pakistan

Punish those behind Pulwama attack, US tells Pakistan

Agency News

Washington, Feb 20: The United States, voicing its "strong support" for India, has pressed Pakistan to punish those behind the Pulwama terrorist attack.

“We have been in close communication with the government of India to express not only our condolences but our strong support for India as it confronts this terrorism,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters on Tuesday. “We urge Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to punish anyone responsible,” he said.

Palladino said the US has been in contact with both countries since the February 14 attack that killed 40 security personnel. “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 along with France and Britain are considering to move the Security Council again to place JeM leader Masood Azhar on the UN terror list. But China, which has twice blocked - in 2016 and 2017 - attempts to put the JeM leader on the blacklist, is reported to be resisting, diplomats said.

The group was first added to the terror list in 2001. President Donald Trump speaking separately to reporters described the terrorist attack as "a horrible situation." "We are getting reports. We will have a statement to put out," Trump said at the Oval office.

He called for dialogue between India and Pakistan saying "it would be wonderful" if the two neighbours get along. The development comes after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and de-escalate the situation and offered to help broker a solution if both sides agree.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had appealed to Guterres to step in to defuse tensions. (UNI)