Donald Trump has, for a while now, been lashing out at Pakistan for breeding terrorists on its soil. And the United States president has now described the Pulwama attack as a "horrible situation," and said that it would be "wonderful" if India and Pakistan could get along.
The suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama took place on February 14, in which over 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives and scores of others were injured. Since then, India has slammed Pakistan for providing a safe haven to terrorists and has also taken strategic and diplomatic measures to globally isolate the neighbour.
Trump made the statement at the Oval Office of White House and said that he has received several reports on the attack. "I have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. We will have comment (on it) at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if they (India and Pakistan) get along," the Press Trust of India quoted the US president as saying.
"That (the terrorist attack) was a horrible situation. We are getting reports. We will have a statement to put out."
The US State Department also spoke of the Pulwama attack in a separate news conference and said that the nation supported India in its fight against terrorism. It said that it was in constant touch with the Indian government "to express not only our condolences but our strong support."
Speaking of terrorism and Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said thus: "We're committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all of its forms. "The perpetrator of that heinous act claimed allegiance to the United Nations-designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, and we call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists."
Palladino also said that the US and India have a good relationship and that the nation will work with New Delhi towards counter-terrorism efforts. He said that Washington has also been in constant touch with Pakistan and that the Pak government must punish those responsible for carrying out the attack.
"We urge Pakistan to fully cooperate with the investigation into the attack and to punish anyone responsible," he said.
Since the Pulwama attack, Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton has also spoken up in support of India, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have also asked Pakistan to take action against JeM.
Meanwhile, Trump himself has been quite vocal about how Pakistan knows that it has terrorists on its soil, but doesn't do anything about it. In November 2018, he has said that Islamabad had done nothing for the US even though the latter has supported it with aid worth millions of dollars.
Trump was defending his administration's decision to stop the military aid to Pakistan and told Fox News that Pakistan does not do "a damn thing" for the US and instead helped Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide in Abbottabad.
"You know, living - think of this - living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don't know, I've seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there," Trump said.
"And we give Pakistan USD 1.3 billion a year. ... (Laden] lived in Pakistan, we're supporting Pakistan, we're giving them USD 1.3 billion a year -- which we don't give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us," he added.
The US has consistently demanded that Pakistan raise its efforts to eliminate terror outfits from its soil, due to which relations between the two nations have also soured in the last several months. In 2017, Trump had lashed out at the nation for harbouring terrorists, warning that Islamabad will face consequences if it continues to ignore the US' demands.
The US had in 2017 also warned that it may not provide the $255 million military aid to Pakistan until the country takes any action against terrorists and in September 2018, the Trump administration cancelled $300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups active on its soil.