US NSA dials Ajit Doval, says America supports India's right to self-defence
New Delhi/Washington, Feb 16 : In the wake of the Pulwama suicide attack, 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”.
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.
Doval and Bolton held a telephonic conversation on Friday evening during which they resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under the UN resolutions and remove all obstacles to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) said in New Delhi.
It said that Bolton supported India's right to self-defence against “cross-border terrorism” and offered all assistance to India to bring the perpetrators and backers of the attack promptly to justice.
The call was initiated by the US side to express condolence and outrage over the Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based JeM.
"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 the US' condolences over the terrorist attack," Bolton told PTI in Washington.
He 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," the US NSA said.
Earlier, the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Pakistan to end its support to terrorist safe havens inside the country.
"We stand with India as it confronts terrorism. Pakistan must not provide safe haven for terrorists to threaten international security," Pompeo said on Twitter.
In a stern message to Pakistan, the White House asked Islamabad to "immediately end" its "support" to all terror groups and not to provide "safe haven" to them, as the US condemned the brutal Pulwama attack.
JeM has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday.
"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.
Top US lawmakers have rallied behind India's effort to fight terrorism and said that such heinous crimes will not weaken the resolve of its people.
So far, more than 70 American lawmakers including 15 Senators have condemned the attack.