US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Friday that America supports India’s right to self-defence after the two officials discussed the Pulwama terror attack in which at least 44 security personnel were killed on Thursday.
Bolton telephoned Doval on Friday morning to express his condolences for the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir and offered the US’ full support to India in confronting terrorism.
“I told Ajit Doval today that we support India’s right to self-defence. I have spoken to him twice, including this morning… and expressed US’ condolences over the terrorist attack,” he told PTI.
Bolton said the US has been very clear to Pakistan on ending support to terrorist safe havens.
“We have been very clear on that score… And, we are continuing to be in discussions we are going to have with the Pakistanis,” he said.
The two countries also vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe haven for terrorist groups that target India, US and others in the region. They also resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under the UN resolutions and remove all obstacles to designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
Earlier, the White House had asked Pakistan to immediately end “support” and “safe haven” to all terror groups as it strongly condemned the Pulwama terrorist attack.
The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday that left at least 44 CRPF jawans dead and nearly 45 seriously wounded.
“The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a late night statement on Thursday.
“This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counterterrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India,” she said in a strongly-worded statement issued by the White House.
A suicide bomber had rammed an SUV carrying 350 kg of explosives into a bus carrying the CRPF troopers in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.