Day after, world leaders condemn Pulwama attack
The US on Friday joined the world community in condemning the Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attack in Kashmir that killed 40 troops, saying the time had come for Pakistan to end support for all terrorist groups operating from its soil.
China’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the attack – among the last major countries to do so – but was non-committal on backing India’s demand to sanction JeM’s Pakistan-based chief Masood Azhar under UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian named the JeM in a statement denouncing the attack, saying all countries should work jointly to combat terrorist and their funding channels and “to prevent the cross-border movement of terrorist groups such as JeM”.
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Meanwhile,Pakistan announced Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the country had been rescheduled to February 17-18. No reason was given for the change. The prince was earlier scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on February 16. The visit of a Saudi business delegation accompanying the prince was postponed and reports suggested this was linked to the Pulwama attack, though this couldn’t be independently confirmed by HT. The prince is scheduled to travel to Malaysia before visiting India during February 19-20.
At a news briefing in Beijing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang condemned the attack but skirted the issue of listing Azhar by UN’s 1267 Committee. “...We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism...”. Asked about China’s stand on listing Azhar as a global terrorist, Geng repeated what Beijing has repeatedly said about UN protocols.
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack in a message sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The perpetrators and sponsors of this attack should be duly punished.”
Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said her country stood in solidarity with India “in the fight to prevent radicalisation and defeat terrorism”. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Nepal’s foreign ministry also denounced the attack. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for those behind the assault to be brought to justice.