Amid escalation between India and Pakistan, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said there was a “reasonably attractive” and “reasonably decent news” from the two countries and expressed hope that the tensions are “going to come to an end”.
“We have, I think, reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India. We have been going at it. We have been involved and trying to help them stop,” he said at a press conference here after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump, while responding to a question about tensions between India and Pakistan, said “We have some reasonably decent news. Hopefully that (tension) is going to be coming to an end.”
He went on to add, “It has been going on for a long time, decades and decades. There is a lot of dislike, unfortunately. So we have been in the middle, trying to help them both out so that we can get some organisation and some peace, probably that is going to be happening.”
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval late on Wednesday night and asserted that the US supports India’s decision to take action against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp on the Pakistani soil on Tuesday.
After the Indian strikes, Pompeo had said, “I spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.”
Acknowledging Indian actions as “counter-terrorism” action, the US Secretary of State said, “Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasize our close security partnership and shared the goal of maintaining peace and security in the region.”
“I expressed to both the Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid any further military activity,” he had added.
A day after India carried out aerial strikes on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan in which a “large number” of terrorists were killed, Jammu and Kashmir saw heightened military activity on Wednesday, with Pakistani jets violating the Indian air space and dropping some bombs in Rajouri sector after which one of their fighters was shot down.
Following Pakistan’s action, India said it foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was held by Pakistan.
MEA, in a strongly-worded statement yesterday, said, “It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return.”
The air strikes by IAF killed a large number of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders of Jaish, including Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law.