WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump Tuesday described as a “horrible situation” the Pulwama terrorist attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, in which 40 Indian paramilitary personnel were killed, and said he was getting reports on it and would issue a statement.
Separately, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino expressed “strong support” for India and asked Pakistan to “punish anyone responsible” for the February 14 attack.
The suicide attack has led to escalation of tension between India and Pakistan and Trump told reporters at the Oval Office of White House that it would be “wonderful” if the two South Asia neighbours get along.
“I have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. We will have comment (on it) at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if they (India and Pakistan) get along,” Trump said in response to a question.
“That (the terrorist attack) was a horrible situation. We are getting reports. We will have a statement to put out,” Trump said.
At a separate news conference, the State Department Deputy Spokesperson said the US has been in close communication with the Indian government “to express not only our condolences but our strong support”.
“We urge Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to punish anyone responsible,” Palladino said. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the US has also been in contact with Pakistan, he said.
Following the terrorist attack, Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has supported India’s right to self-defense.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Bolton, and the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in separate statements have asked Pakistan to immediately take action against the JeM and its leaders and end support to terrorist safe havens.
The CRPF personnel were killed when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosive-laden car into a vehicle carrying them in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.