09:41 GMT +318 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on Pakistan to stop providing safe havens for terrorists after the deadly terror attack in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    "The U.S. condemns yesterday’s horrific terror attack on Indian security forces. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand with #India as it confronts terrorism. Pakistan must not provide safe haven for terrorists to threaten international security", Pompeo wrote on his Twitter page.

    The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has stated that National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval held a telephone conversation with his US counterpart, John Bolton, on 15 February, during which the two "vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan cease to be a safe haven for JeM and terrorist groups that target India, the US and others in the region".

    "They resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under UN resolutions and to remove all obstacles to designating JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 Committee process", the ministry said in a statement.

    During the phone conversation, initiated by the US side, Bolton also "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", according to the statement.

    The blast in the Pulwama district of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state killed around 45 people on 14 February. The Jaish-e Mohammed group, which has links to the Taliban movement and the al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia), claimed responsibility for the attack.

    READ MORE: At Least 12 Soldiers Dead, 20 Wounded in Blast in Kashmir — Reports (VIDEO)

    The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has accused Pakistan of having a role in the terrorist attack and demanded that it "ceases forthwith all support and financing to terror groups operating from areas under their control". The Pakistani Foreign Ministry, in turn, urged India to restrain from hasty conclusions and expressed readiness to cooperate in the investigation.

    Jammu and Kashmir is a region that has been disputed by India and Pakistan since 1947 when both countries gained independence from the British Empire. The two countries have gone through three wars over the region, but the conflict has not been resolved. The unstable situation in the region has led to the emergence of extremist groups.


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