Asserting that there is a lot of problems between India and Pakistan, US President Donald Trump has said New Delhi is looking at something “very strong” in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Trump, after his meeting with a visiting Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on February 22 that “in Kashmir, it’s very dangerous”.
The President referred to the possibility of a strong response from India in the wake of the terrorist attack.
“India is looking at something very strong. And I mean, India just lost almost 50 people with an attack. So, I could understand that also,” he said when asked about India’s right to self-defence.
Responding to questions on the tense situation between the two South Asian neighbours, Trump said the US is talking so does some other nations, without mentioning them.
“We are talking and a lot of people are talking. But, it is a very, very delicate balance going on right now. There’s a lot of problems between India and Pakistan because of what just happened,” said the US President.
“We’re very much involved in that if that’s what you’re referring to,” he said.
Trump described the current situation between India and Pakistan as very dangerous.
“It’s a terrible thing going on right now between Pakistan and India… it is a very, very bad situation and it’s a very dangerous situation between the two countries. We would like to see it stopped. A lot of people were just killed and we want to see it stopped,” he said.
Trump claimed that his administration has developed a much better relationship with Pakistan, even after he stopped USD 1.3 billion in financial aid to Islamabad.
“I stopped Pakistan, the USD 1.3 billion that we were paying them. In the meantime, we may set up some meetings with Pakistan.
“Pakistan was taking very strong advantage of the United States under other presidents and we were paying Pakistan 1.3 billion a year. I ended that payment to Pakistan because they weren’t helping us in a way that they should have. And honestly, we’ve developed a much better relationship with Pakistan over the last short period of time than we had,” Trump said.
Over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and several injured in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.
Following the attack, 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 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.
Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, too has supported India’s right to self-defence.
India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack and highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
The international community led by the US pressed Pakistan to deny safe haven to terror groups operating from its soil and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump described as a “horrible situation” the Pulwama terrorist attack and said he was getting reports on it.
(With agency inputs)