Pak. assured U.S. that it will deal ‘firmly’ with terrorists: Bolton

Pakistan has assured the U.S. that it would deal “firmly” with all terrorists operating from the country, and take steps to de-escalate tensions with India, according to National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The assurance was given by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a phone call on Monday, Mr. Bolton said on a day when Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here and discussed the need to bringing those responsible for the Pulwama attack to justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.

“Spoke with Pakistani FM Qureshi to encourage meaningful steps against JeM and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan,” Mr. Bolton said in a tweet.

“The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India,” he said.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish- e-Muhammed (JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.

Pakistan’s perspective

In Islamabad, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the purpose of Mr. Qureshi’s call was to provide Mr. Bolton Pakistan’s perspective on the “recent regional developments.”

Mr. Qureshi said that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to 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 the U.S. National Security Advisor.

The Foreign Minister also informed Mr. Bolton that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India had returned to Delhi after consultations.