The United States (U.S.) Secretary of State – Mike Pompeo has urged India and Pakistan to refrain from indulging into any military action that could further escalate tensions between the two South Asian Nations. The U.S. has termed the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) strike as a “counter-terrorism action”.
Earlier on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, in response to the heinous killing of 40 Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF) in Pulwama by terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of IAF had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to enter Balakot in Pakistan and have destroyed the biggest training camp of JeM.
In a media statement – Mike Pompeo said, “Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to emphasise our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region. I also spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood 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.”
Pompeo has also encouraged the two neighbouring arch rivals to focus on direct communication and avoid further military actions.
Pompeo speaks to Sushma Swaraj
The Minister of External Affairs, India – Sushma Swaraj had explained the details of pre-dawn strike to Pompeo over the phone.
During their conversation, Pompeo asked her, “to emphasize our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region.”
Post this, Sushma Swaraj had left for Wuzhen in China where she is participating in the 16th Russia-India-China (RIC) Summit, scheduled for today, Wednesday, February 27, 2019. During her visit, she would be meeting Foreign Minister of China – Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia – Sergey Lavrov.
Pompeo discusses peace with Qureshi
In a telephonic conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan – Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pompeo told him, “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.”
According to State-owned Radio Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Pompeo that India is jeopardising peace in South Asia to serve its political purposes and gain from the upcoming elections.
The 16th RIC Summit
While making her opening remarks during the 16th RIC Summit in China, Sushma Swaraj said, that Pakistan has always refused to acknowledge the presence of militants in its country and has never taken any action to curb the same. Besides, JeM was also planning another major terror attack across India. Hence, Government of India
had decided to take pre-emptive action.
She clarified that the target was so selected that it guaranteed no civilian casualties.
She further added, “India does not wish to see a further escalation of the situation and India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
Australia and France support India
Extending support to India, Australia and France have issued statements in favour of India, asking Pakistan to take necessary actions against the terrorist groups in its territory.