Trump: India, Pakistan facing ‘very dangerous situation’

Washington:US President Donald Trump has said that there is a “very dangerous situation” between India and Pakistan following the Jammu and Kashmir suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers and indicated that Washington was trying defuse the heightening tensions between the two neighbours. 

“Right now between Pakistan and India, there is a very, very bad situation. A very dangerous situation. We would like to see it (hostilities) stop. A lot of people were just killed. We want to see it just stop. We are very much involved in that (process),” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday.

The February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed. In the aftermath of the strike, India withdrew the “Most Favoured Nation” status given to Pakistan and also imposed a 200 per cent import duty on all goods originating or exported from that country.

“India is looking at something very strong. India just lost almost 50 people in the attack. I can understand that too,” Trump said while adding that his government was in talks with authorities of both countries.

“We’re talking. A lot of people are. It’s going to be a very, very delicate balance. There is a lot of problems between India and Pakistan because of what just happened,” he said.

The US President had earlier said that the Pulwama attack “only strengthens our resolve to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination between the US and India”.

Islamabad, however, denies any involvement in the bombing but sought from India “actionable intelligence”, which was termed by New Delhi as a “lame excuse”.

Also, the Pakistan Army accused India of sending war threats and warned of a “surprise response” if New Delhi initiated any aggression amid escalating tensions.

Trump, in response to a question during Friday’s news briefing, said that the US had suspended military aid to Pakistan “because they weren’t helping us in the way that they should have”.

“I stopped paying Pakistan the $1.3 billion that we used to pay them. In the meantime, we may set up some meetings with Pakistan,” he said, but did not explain the nature, level or timings of those meetings.

“Pakistan was taking very strong advantage of the US 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.”

He, however, added that ties between the two countries had improved.

“We have developed a much better relationship with Pakistan (in a) short period of time than we had (before),” Trump said.