Washington D.C. [USA]: The United States has asked Pakistan to take “sustained sincere effort” against militant groups while warning Islamabad that “an additional terrorist attack” on India will prove to be “extremely problematic.”
“If there is an additional terrorist attack without Pakistan having made a sustained sincere effort against these groups, it will be extremely problematic for Pakistan. It would cause a re-escalation in tensions,” an official from the White House told the local media on Wednesday (local time).
The remarks by the US official comes amid reports of escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14, which killed 49 security personnel. The responsibility of the terror attack was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the allegations of which are, however, denied by Islamabad.
The US remains concerned over heightened tension between India and Pakistan. The two countries were close to having dangerous confrontation following Balakot airstrikes of February 26, when the Indian Air Force aircraft crossed the Line of Control to attack the JeM base camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
The two sides have taken steps to de-escalate the tension, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to return Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. However, Washington remains concerned, the official noted.
“We do still see the militaries on alert and so we realize if there, God forbid, would be another terrorist attack, then you could quickly see an escalation in the situation once again,” the official said.
“We are making clear that any additional military action by either side runs an unacceptably high risk for both countries and for the region,” he added.
Islamabad has said to have taken steps to implement the National Action Plan in the country and arrested dozens of terrorists in the wake of the plan but Washington somehow refrains from believing that the crackdown is sufficient, the official stated.
“I think we will need to see irreversible sustained action. It’s early to make a full assessment,” the official said.