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Pakistan rejects links to Pulwama attack, China maintains Masood Azhar not a terrorist: How the world reacted

Thursday's incident in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama where a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kilograms of explosives into a bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, killing 42 of them, invoked reactions of condemnation in varying degrees of intensity from other nations.

Pakistan called the terror attack "a matter of grave concern" and rejected India's avowed maintenance of Islamabad's link to the incident. India has, meanwhile, withdrawn the "most favoured nation" status that it had granted to Pakistan.

Pakistan's Foreign Office, after keeping quiet for hours, issued a statement after midnight on Friday, saying, "We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in the Valley. We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations."

 Pakistan rejects links to Pulwama attack, China maintains Masood Azhar not a terrorist: How the world reacted

Soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. Reuters

While China spoke out against the attack, it once again declined to back India's appeal to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

"China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families," spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang said.

When asked about China's stand on the listing of Azhar, he said, "I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations. JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner."

China, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council and a close ally of Pakistan, has repeatedly foiled India's bid to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

The White House, meanwhile, asked Pakistan to immediately end "support" to all terror groups. "The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a late night statement on Thursday.

The US State Department's deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement that the USA was "resolutely committed" to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all its forms.

Soldiers inspect the bus after the terror attack at Pulwama. Reuters

Soldiers inspect the bus after the terror attack at Pulwama. Reuters

Several American legislators including Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez, Johnny Isakson, John Cornyn who is co-chair of the Senate India caucus, Chris Coons, Mark Warner, Pramila Jayapal, Tulsi Gabbard, Eliot Engel, Grace Meng, Brian Fitzpatrick, Dan Crenshaw, Al Green, Don Bacon, George Holding, Joe Wilson, Jeff Van Drew, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Frank Pallone, Michael McCaul, Joe Morelle, Will Hurd, Brad Sherman, Ted Yoho and Elissa Slotkin spoke against the attack.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, who is set to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to India next week, also denounced the attack through the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports said.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, issued a statement saying, "Canada offers its deepest condolences and profound sympathy to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the attack. It remains steadfast in its support of the global fight against terrorism."

The government of Bangladesh, which is one of India's steadfast allies, also offered condolences to the families who lost loved ones. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "At this sad moment, we stand by the people and govt of India. Our thoughts and prayers are speedy recovery of those who got injured."

Another neighbouring ally, Bhutan, was also "deeply saddened by the news". The country's prime minister Lotay Tshering tweeted through the official account, "Bhutan strongly condemns terrorist attack of any nature. Our prayers are with the grieved family and we are following the situation closely."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates also tweeted that it stood in solidarity with India at this time.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa too strongly condemned the terror attack "on behalf of the government and people of South Africa." "Acts of terrorism have no place in society and constitute a threat to development, peace and security," the statement issued by the government of the country read.

France too condemned the attack through its Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler.

With inputs from agencies

Follow LIVE updates of the aftermath of the Pulwama attack here

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2019 15:25:52 IST

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