Bengaluru, Feb 19 : Condemning the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that had left 40 CRPF troopers dead, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Tuesday urged Pakistan to end support to terror groups operating on its soil.
“Pakistan should end support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil. The terror attack in Pulwama bolsters our resolve to cooperate with India on counter-terrorism,” Juster told reporters here.
Expressing condolence to the families of the 40 CRPF troopers who died in the terror attack on a bus in which they were travelling to Srinagar from Jammu in a convoy, the envoy said the US sympathised with the Indian people.
Referring to the US participation in the biennial Aero India air show from Wednesday at the IAF’s Yelahanka air base, Juster also sympathised with the family of an IAF pilot who died after two military aircraft collided in air and crashed near the airbase earlier in the day.
“Unfortunately, we don’t appreciate how dangerous some of the manoeuvres are at these events and tragically one Indian flight officer lost his life,” he said.
Noting that the US contingent at the 12th edition of the 5-day aerospace expo was the largest with 25 firms participating, Juster said best Amercian technology and military hardware would be at display at the air show.
“Flight demonstration and static display of C-17 Globemaster III, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet and P-8 Poseidon will be the centre of attraction,” he said.
With the Indian Air Force (IAF) receiving 4 of 25 ordered Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Boeing on February 11, Juster said 6 more would be delivered later this year.
“Similarly, 17 out of 25 Apache attack helicopters the IAF ordered will also arrive this year. The Tata Advanced Systems-Boeing joint venture is constructing fuselages for the attack helicopters in Hyderabad,” he said.
Last year, the Indian armed forces conducted more military exercises with the US than with any armed force and more US defence personnel came to train with their counterparts in India than in the past.
In September, the Indian Army received its first order of Ultra Lightweight Howitzers from the US government through a foreign military sales case.
“The Indian Army is set to receive 145 guns over the next two years. The majority of them will be assembled, integrated, and tested by Mahindra company in India,” said Juster.
US Defence Security Cooperation Agency Director Lt Gen Charles Hooper and US Deputy Under Secretary for Defense Acquisitions and Sustainment Alan Shaffer were also present on the occasion.