Russia, Pakistan, US, others condemn Kashmir attack

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New Delhi: Several countries across the world, including Pakistan, Russia and the US, have condemned the terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad which killed at least 44 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

The Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed on Thursday afternoon in one of the deadliest terror attacks in the restive state in decades when a 22-year-old suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying nearly 300kg of explosives into their bus in Awantipora area.

The convoy of 78 buses had more than 2,000 CRPF personnel travelling from Jammu to Srinagar and came under attack just 30km away from the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Many others were also left critically wounded.

India had slammed Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack and the ministry of external affairs said that the heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation proscribed by the UN and other countries.

This terror group is led by the international terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by the Pakistani government to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under Pakistan’s control and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity, the MEA said.

Pakistan has said the terrorist attack in Pulwama district is “a matter of grave concern” and strongly rejected Indian media and government’s allegations of the country’s link to the strike “without” probe.

“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

In a tweet, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in Valley.”

Russia stressed the need to combat such “inhuman acts” with a decisive and collective response without any double standards.

“We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterate the need to combat these inhuman acts with a decisive and collective response without any double standards,” a Russian embassy statement said.

 The United States on Thursday called on Pakistan to “end immediately” its support of terrorist groups operating from its soil in the aftermath of the suicide attack. Holding Pakistan responsible for the attack, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement that the US “condemns in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group”.

“The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region,” Sanders said. “This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counterterrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India.”

The US also said it stands alongside India in defeating terrorism.

“The US Mission in India strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,” US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster tweeted.

French ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said France most firmly condemns the heinous attack perpetrated in Jammu and Kashmir. “France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism in all its forms,” he said.

Germany said it stands by its strategic partner India as Australia, Turkey, Canada and the Czech Republic also joined in slamming the attack. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has also decried the attack and offered condolences to the families of the dead soldiers.

“Australia condemns the heinous terrorist attack on an Indian police convoy in Jammu and Kashmir. We convey our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and all those injured. Our thoughts are with my friend Prime Minister @narendramodi and the Indian people,” Morrison tweeted on Friday.

Spain and Italy also have condemned the attack.

“We strongly condemn the attack perpetrated today in #Pulwama, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, against a convoy of the #CRPF. The Government of Spain expresses its support to the people and authorities of #India in these moments of pain,” Spain’s ministry of foreign affairs tweeted in Spanish.

“Astonishment for a serious terrorist attack that hit Indian security forces in #Pulwama, with numerous deaths and injuries. # Italy condemns terrorism in all its forms. Strong solidarity and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,” Italian ministry of foreign affairs said in Italian.

‘Copy-paste attack’

India’s neighbours Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives also expressed solidarity and vowed to combat the menace of terrorism jointly.

Afghanistan said the attack was a “copy-paste of what Pakistan backed terror groups” do in their country.

“The heinous act of terror in Kashmir has all the hallmarks of a common source & sponsor of terrorism in our region. It is a copy paste of what Pakistan backed terror groups do in Afghanistan. We condemn the attack & convey our condolences to Indian people,” Afghanistan’s acting minister of interior Amrullah Saleh tweeted.

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in a message through the country’s High Commission, here, said her country remains steadfast in its commitment against terrorism of all forms and manifestations and maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any kind of terrorist activities.

Bangladesh would continue to work and cooperate with the international community including India to eradicate the menace of terrorism, she said.

A release from Nepal’s ministry of foreign affairs putforth late on Thursday said any kind of heinous act of terrorism cannot be justified, reinforcing Nepal’s stand against such kind of manifestations.

“In line with its principled position, Nepal unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and believes that such heinous acts of terrorism cannot be justified on any ground,” the release said.

Nepal’s prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli called his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday evening to extend condolences and concern while condemning the ghastly attack.

Similar thoughts came from Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

“Deeply saddened by the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Kashmir. Bhutan strongly condemns the terrorist attack of any nature. Our prayers are with the grieved family and we are following the situation closely,” Bhutanese prime minister Lotay Tshering said.

“I strongly condemn the deadly terrorist attack in Kashmir today killing at least 40 people. We send our thoughts and prayers to those affected. The Maldives will continue to work with India and the international community to combat terrorism in our region and the world at large,” Maldivian president Ibrahim Solih said.

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena expressed sadness over the dastardly terror attack, saying the world must condemn such brutal terrorist attacks and take effective action to prevent such incidents in future.

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