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Pakistan assures US it will deal 'firmly' with terrorists

John Bolton

New York, March 13 (UITV/IANS) - Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has given the US an assurance that his country would deal firmly with all terrorists, according to US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"Spoke with Pakistani FM Qureshi to encourage meaningful steps against JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan", Bolton tweeted on Monday. "The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India".

The tweet came while India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale began his Washington visit for talks with US officials.

The call to Bolton was apparently initiated by Islamabad. Pakistan's Foreign Office was quoted in media there as saying that it was to give "Pakistan's perspective on the recent regional developments".

Dawn reported that according the Pakistani Foreign Office, Bolton recalled his and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's efforts for de-escalating tensions between the neighbours despite their preoccupation with talks with North Korea in Hanoi last month. Bolton "appreciated Pakistan measures which had helped lowering the tension and urged continued restraint on both sides," according to the Foreign Office.

During the Gokhale-Pompeo talks in Washington on Monday, the US official "affirmed that the United States stands with the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism", according to his Spokesperson Robert Palladino.

He said that they discussed "the importance of bringing those responsible for the attack to justice and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil".

Gokhale is scheduled to participate in the India Strategic Dialogue, at the State Department on Tuesday morning with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.