Pakistan assures US to deal ‘firmly’ with all militants, says NSA Bolton

Pakistan assures US to deal ‘firmly’ with all militants, says NSA Bolton
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Pakistan has assured the US that it will deal "firmly" with all militants operating from the country and take steps to de-escalate tensions with India, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The assurance was given by Pakistan Foreign Minister ShahMehmood Qureshi during a phone call on Monday, Bolton said on a day whenForeign Secretary Vijay Gokhale called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeohere and discussed the need to bringing those responsible for the Pulwama attackto justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action againstmilitant groups operating on its soil.

"Spoke with Pakistani FM Qureshi to encouragemeaningful steps against JeM and other militant groups operating fromPakistan," Bolton said in a tweet.

"The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly withall militants and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India,"he said.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after asuicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPFpersonnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

 In Islamabad,Pakistan's Foreign Office said the purpose of Qureshi's call was to provideBolton Pakistan's perspective on the "recent regional developments."

Qureshi said that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan decidedto hand over the Indian Air Force pilot as a gesture of goodwill towards India.Pakistan wished peace and stability in the region, he was quoted as telling theUS National Security Adviser.

The foreign minister also informed Bolton that Pakistan'sHigh Commissioner to India has returned to Delhi after consultations.

During talks between Gokhale and Pompeo, the United Statescontinued to maintain pressure on Pakistan, according to a readout of themeeting issued by the State Department.

"Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Secretary Gokhale discussed the importance of bringing those responsible for the (Pulwama) attack to justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against militant groups operating on its soil," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said. PTI

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