President Donald Trump Thursday voiced confidence that the hostilities between India and Pakistan would end soon, saying he has some “reasonably decent” news with the US involved in trying to help reduce tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
In his opening statement at a press conference at the end of his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Vietnamese capital, Trump said the US has some “reasonably attractive news” from Pakistan and India.
“We have been involved in trying to help them (India and Pakistan) stop and we have some reasonably decent news,” he told the reporters.
“I think hopefully that (tensions) could be coming to an end, it has been going on for a long time,” Trump said in his first comments since India and Pakistan both claimed to have shot down each other’s fighter planes on Wednesday, with Pakistan capturing one Indian pilot.
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack by claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group.
The US president also said that there is a lot of “dislike” (between India and Pakistan).
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval amidst the tense ties between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and New Delhi’s air strike against JeM terror training camp in Balakot.
Pompeo and Doval are understood to have discussed the current situation in the region during the telephonic conversation on Wednesday, official sources in Washington said.
US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has been working on efforts to de-escalating tensions and urging both Pakistan and India to avoid further military action, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Shanahan has been in contact with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Bolton, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Commander of US Central Command General Joseph Votel on the India-Pakistan tensions, it said.
The US State Department also asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds.
“Cross-border terrorism, such as the recent attack on India’s CRPF on February 14, poses a grave threat to the security of the region. We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds,” a State Department spokesperson said in Washington.
India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot on Tuesday. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a JeM suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.