MBS doesn't mention Pulwama but supports terror fight

Last Updated 20 February 2019, 11:01 IST

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman refrained from directly referring to the February 14 terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, when he made a statement before media-persons after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday.

Mohammad bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS said that terrorism and extremism were common concerns for both India and Saudi Arabia. He also promised that Saudi Arabia would cooperate with India on all fronts to combat the menace of terrorism, including by sharing of intelligence.He, however, did not directly refer to February 14 killing of over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a suicide attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

The JeM is a terror organization, which is based in Pakistan and has long been carrying out terror attacks in India.

Prime Minister, himself, however, referred to the attack and said that he and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia had agreed to exert all possible pressure on the countries supporting terrorism in any manner.

The suicide attack prompted New Delhi to launch a diplomatic offensive against Islamabad. India alleged that the attack was planned and coordinated from territories under control of Pakistan.

MBS commenced his tour to Asia by visiting Pakistan on Sunday and Monday. He, however, did not come to New Delhi directly from Islamabad. He rather returned to Riyadh from Islamabad after concluding his visit to Pakistan late in the afternoon on Monday. He then flew from Riyadh to New Delhi on Tuesday. The move is seen as Saudi Arabia's bid to de-hyphenate, not only the Crown Prince's visits to India and Pakistan, but also Riyadh's relations with the two South Asian neighbours.

Modi received MBS at the airport after his royal aircraft landed late in the evening on Tuesday.

Prime Minister, himself, however, referred to the terror attack when he addressed the media-persons after his meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia at Hyderabad House.

“The barbaric terror attack at Pulwama last week was yet another cruel manifestation of the danger that looms large over the world,” Modi, who spoke before MBS, said.

“It is very important to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and bring to justice the terrorists and their supporters,” Prime Minister said, adding: “It is also necessary to step up cooperation against extremism and to draw up an action plan against radicalization so that our youths could not be misguided to take the path of violence and terror.”

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was the second foreign leader to visit New Delhi after tension between India and Pakistan escalated over the terror attack on CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Argentine President Maricio Macri was the first foreign leader New Delhi hosted after the February 14 attack. Macri not only joined Modi to condemn the terror attack but also conveyed condolences to the families of the victims.

(Published 20 February 2019, 08:25 IST)

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