Pakistan promises to crack down on terrorist groups attacking Indian rule over Kashmir, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday. Bolton tweeted that he had spoken with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and "the FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to deescalate tensions with India." India has long accused Pakistan of covertly backing attacks by guerrillas in Kashmir.
On February 14, at least 42 CRPF personnel were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 30 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district that also left many critically wounded.
More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.
Bolton said that during his talks with Qureshi he'd set out "to encourage meaningful steps against JeM and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan."
The latest Pakistani reassurances came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Washington with the Indian foreign secretary, Vijay Gokhale, and urged Pakistan to take "meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," Pompeo's spokesman said.
Pompeo's spokesman said that during the secretary of state's talks with Gokhale they "discussed the importance of bringing those responsible for the (February) attack to justice."
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale began a three-day visit to the US during which he is scheduled to meet senior officials of the Trump administration and exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments, officials said. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Gokhale is visiting Washington in connection with bilateral foreign office consultation and strategic security dialogue with his American counterparts.
During his visit, Gokhale is also likely to meet with senior leaders in the US administration and US Congress, he said in response to a query on the foreign secretary's visit.
The foreign secretary's visit to the US comes in the backdrop of growing tension between India and Pakistan. "Foreign Secretary is visiting Washington DC on March 11-13 in connection with the bilateral foreign office consultation and strategic security dialogue with his US counterparts, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson respectively," Kumar said.