NEWS
27/02/2019 8:48 AM IST | Updated 27/02/2019 9:31 AM IST

Balakot Strike: US Tells Pakistan To Act Against Terror Groups Operating On Its Soil

Mike Pompeo said he spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid “further military activity” following an air strike by India inside Pakistan.

“I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” Pompeo said in a statement issued in Washington on Tuesday.

“I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity,” he said.

The US asked Pakistan to take “meaningful action” against terrorist groups operating on its soil and underscored the importance of avoiding escalation at any cost after India targeted terrorist camp in Pakistan.

Following the 14 February Pulwama attack, India on Tuesday bombed and destroyed JeM’s biggest training camp in Balakot, killing a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also called for avoiding military action.

In a separate call with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Pompeo emphasised the close security partnership between the US and India and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region. 

Read the US statement on Balakot strike:

Pompeo is currently in Vietnam to attend the second summit between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the denuclearsation of the Korean peninsula.

Last week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval that America supports India’s right to self-defence as both sides vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe heaven for JeM and other terror groups.

(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)