US stands with Pak after Lahore attack: Obama tells Sharif

Washington, March 31: President Barack Obama has reaffirmed the US' commitment to partner with Pakistan to combat terrorism after the "appalling" Easter Sunday, March 24 bombing in Lahore that killed 74 people.

Obama telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to condole the deaths in the attack on innocent civilians.


"This callous and appalling attack against innocent civilians, many of them women and children, underscores the critical danger that terrorism poses inside Pakistan, throughout the region, and around the globe," the White House said in a readout of the phone call made late last night.

"The President reiterated the US commitment to partner with Pakistan to counter terrorism," the White House said. On Sunday, a suicide bomber of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, blew himself up at a park in Lahore, killing 74 people.

Of those dead, 29 were children and 10 were women. Twenty were Christians. Obama said he understands Sharif's decision to cancel his US visit for a nuclear summit following the attack. Sharif was scheduled to attend the summit in Washington this week.

An official statement in Islamabad said Obama requested Sharif to convey his feelings to the affected families. Obama said the people of the US are with the government and the people of Pakistan. "We will extend every help to Pakistan to eliminate terror from its soil."

Obama also acknowledged Sharif's "leadership in the anti-terror effort." Sharif said the invisible enemy was killing innocents who are soft targets for them due to their broken infrastructure. "My resolve and my nation's resolve is getting stronger day by day. The Pakistani nation will win this war against this invisible enemy and extremist ideology," Sharif said.


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