White House, Congress, state lawmakers, activists condemn latest bomb attack that killed 44 CRPF personnel in Kashmir

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Soldiers examine debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Younis Khaliq

The Feb. 14, attack in Kashmir that killed 44 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force, has been roundly condemned by Americans. From the White House to Congress, to state level lawmakers, activists and non-governmental organizations in the United States, took to social media to express their condemnation.

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group that killed over 40 Indian paramilitary forces and wounded at least 44 others,” the White House said. Expressing “deep condolences” to the victims’ families, the Indian government, and the Indian people for the loss of life, the White House hauled up Pakistan. “The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region. This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counterterrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India,” the Trump administration asserted.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) tweeted the response of its Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY, saying, “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state today and send my condolences to the families of the victims. Countries must not allow terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed to operate with impunity. #kashmirterrorattack”

Numerous other members of Congress from both parties, took to social media expressing  unequivocal condemnation. “I strongly condemn the terror attack in Kashmir. The United States stands with our friends in India, and I send heartfelt condolences to the families that lost loved ones,” Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer said.

Sen. John Cornyn, Republican co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, called it the “deadliest attack in 30 years” by “a radical Islamist terrorist group,” adding, “I send my deepest condolences to the soldiers injured and killed in this senseless attack, to their families, and to India, a critical ally in the global war on terror.”

“The United States stands with our Indian allies against those behind this heinous act of terrorism,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, co-chair of the Senate India Caucus.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu woman to be in the U.S. Congress who is running for the 2020 presidential race, said, “We stand with the people of India in condemning the terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir, and send our condolences and prayers to the victims families. We must all stand up against these jihadists and their ideology.”

Indian-American lawmakers on Capitol Hill also condemned the attack. Rep. Ami Bera, D-California, tweeted, “My thoughts are with the victims and their families today. America stands with the Indian people and strongly condemns this senseless violence.”

“I condemn the terrorist attack in Pulwama in the strongest terms, and I send my heartfelt condolences to the victims of this attack and all those touched by it. We must all stand united against terrorism,” tweeted Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois.

“Heartbreaking. My thoughts are with the families of the victims of heinous terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir today. We must confront terror and defeat it, wherever it occurs. #KashmirTerrorAttack,” tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. The tweet was retweeted by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California.

Ohio State Rep. Niraj Antani, a Republican running for the state Senate, made a strong statement on the Kashmir attack, tweeting, “Forty soldiers in India were killed during a terrorist attack by the self proclaimed “Army of Muhammad.” Radical Islamic terror is a global threat to democracy, freedom, & the American way of life. The United States must stand with India to combat terror.”

“I strongly condemn this cowardly terrorist attack which targeted Indian soldiers in Kashmir. My thoughts and prayers to the families of the soldiers,”New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, said in a tweet.

Non-profit Indian-American organizations also came forward. The Hindu American Foundation released a statement from its Managing Director Samir Kalra, saying, ”

“This latest attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed is sadly another example of how Pakistan’s intelligence services continue to sponsor terrorist incursions into India. While it’s heartening to see that a wide swath of the international community is unequivocally condemning the attack, such statements of solidarity must be backed up by actions which help bring to an end the ability of such terrorist groups to kill with impunity and destabilize the region.”

Jeff M. Smith, an expert on South Asia, at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, tweeted, “It’s LONG past time for Pakistan’s establishment to root out these fanatic groups, many of which operate in the open and with the support of elements of the Pakistani state. It’s unacceptable. And it’s outrageous the world didn’t draw a collective red line on this a long time ago.”

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