Sushma at RIC: Raises Pulwama, Pakistan's 'inaction'

CHINA / Wuzhen:

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday raised the February 14 Pulwama terror attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Jammu and Kashmir during her bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the 16th Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers' meeting here.

"I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir," she said in her opening remarks during the bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the RIC.

The meeting came just after 24 hours of a "punitive" action by the Indian Air Force fighter jets that brought down major terror training camps in Pakistan's Balakot, that New Delhi called a "non-military and pre-emptive strike".

The Minister strongly put it across that the JeM is a "Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation".

"Following the Pulwama terror attack, instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack and outright dismissed claims by JeM," she said.

"Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder of the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance towards terrorism and take decisive action against it," she added.

At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed in the suicide attack by JeM. The group had released photos and a video after the attack claiming full responsibility.

Sushma Swaraj's meeting with China is significant as Beijing has repeatedly blocked India's bid at the UN to declare JeM chief Masood Azhar a UN-designated global terrorist.

While countries across the world, including US, Russia, UK and France -- part of the UN Security Council, condemned Pakistan's role in the Pulwama terror attack, China's stand on JeM chief Masood Azhar has remained unchanged.

"Counter-terrorism on the agenda. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj departs for Wuzhen, China for the 16th Foreign Ministers Meeting of Russia, India and China. Apart from attending the trilateral meeting, EAM will hold bilateral discussions with Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted before her visit.