US Stand Seen As "Endorsement" Of India, "Emboldened Them": Pak Envoy

 
US Stand Seen As

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's ambassador to Washington today said that the United States has not condemned India's air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp on Tuesday, saying the stance "emboldened" New Delhi. The complaint comes amid the worst escalation between India and Pakistan in decades and a day after an Indian Air Force pilot was captured by Pakistan after an air combat.

"It is construed and understood as an endorsement of the Indian position and that is what emboldened them even more," Pakistan's envoy to Washington Asad Majeed Khan told reporters when asked about the US statement.

Commenting on the Pulwama terror attack in which over 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, the US today said Pakistan must abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists a safe haven and block their access to funds.

Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Donald Trump administration also called on India and Pakistan to "cease all cross-border military activity" and "take immediate steps to deescalate the situation, including through direct communication".

In pre-dawn strikes, Indian fighter jets crossed the Line of Control on Tuesday and carried out a strike at the biggest training camp of Jaish in Balakot within Pakistan.

The ambassador said that Pakistan -- which has an increasingly close relationship with China and rising friction with Washington -- was eager for greater US diplomacy between Islamabad and New Delhi.

"There is perhaps no other country better placed than the United States to be able to play some role," he said, pointing to the US relationship with both countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement after talking to his counterparts in both countries, described the Indian strikes as "counter-terrorism actions."

While urging both sides to avoid escalation, he urged Pakistan to take "meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil."