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Pak assures US to deal ‘firmly’ with all terrorists: NSA Bolton

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

Such an assurance was given by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a phone call on Monday, Bolton said in a tweet on a day when Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here.

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

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

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.

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

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 US National Security Adviser.

The foreign minister also informed Bolton that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India has returned to Delhi after consultations.

During talks between Gokhale and Pompeo, the United States continued to maintain pressure on Pakistan, according to a readout of the meeting issued by the State Department.

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