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‘Reasonably Attractive’ News from Pakistan, India: Trump

by Newsweek Pakistan

Saul Loeb—AFP

U.S. president assures press conference America has been working to defuse tensions between rival nations

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said that he expected the current bout of escalation between Pakistan and India would soon come to an end.

Addressing a press conference in Hanoi, where the American leader had just concluded a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, he said Washington had “reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India” concerning the ongoing tensions arising out of a Feb. 14 suicide attack that left 40 Indian soldiers dead. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of being complicit in the attack—claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad but perpetrated by a local fighter—allegations vehemently denied by Pakistan.

“They [Pakistan and India] have been going at it and we have been involved in trying to have them stop and we have some reasonably recent news hopefully that will be coming to an end. It’s been going on for a long time,” Trump added, without offering any details.

The U.S. president’s statement follows urgings from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for both sides to de-escalate. The statement, however, was criticized by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, who said it had ‘emboldened’ India by not pinning the blame for the current unrest on New Delhi’s Feb. 26 intrusion into Pakistani airspace.

A statement issued by the Pentagon also cited acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan as confirming he had discussion the situation with senior U.S. military officials. “Acting Secretary Shanahan’s focus is on de-escalating tensions and urging both of the nations to avoid further military action,” it added.

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