U.S. demands Pakistan adhere to its international obligations on fighting terrorism

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Forensic officials inspect the wreckage of a bus after a suicide bomber rammed a car into the bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday (Feb. 14, 2019) in Lethpora, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Feb. 15, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Ismail)

The United States reiterated its condemnation of the Feb. 14, suicide bombing in Kashmir that killed more than 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, and called on Pakistan to adhere to its obligations under United Nations resolutions.

At a State Department briefing Feb. 19, when asked for a response on India’s demand that Pakistan take credible and visible action against Jaish-e-Mohammed, the militant group which claimed responsibility for the Valentine Day attack, spokesperson Robert Palladino roundly condemned “in the strongest terms possible,” the terrorist attack, and restated Washington’s commitment to working with India to combat terrorism in all its forms.

“The perpetrator of that heinous act claimed allegiance to the United Nations-designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, 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.

On what specific actions Washington wanted Islamabad to take, Palladino said, “As far as Pakistan goes, we’ve 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,” Palladino asserted.

On India, he said, “… 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,” adding that under the “close, cooperative” relations with India, the Trump administration is committed to working with New Delhi on counterterrorism efforts both bilaterally and multilaterally, including in the United Nations.

The spokesperson said that while he did not have details about the level of the talks between U.S. and Pakistan, “we call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council to deny safe haven and support for terrorists, and that includes many things, as you know – freezing assets without delay, et cetera.”

Palladino repeated the statement when asked about Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s statement that if India attacked, Islamabad would retaliate.

The U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton early after the Feb. 14 incident, said India was within its rights to take action following the attack.

 

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