Modi speaks to Sharif, says ready to provide all assistance

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday evening spoke with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif over phone and offered his deepest condolences for the dastardly terror attack on a school in Peshawar. He said India was ready to provide all assistance during this hour of grief.

The prime minister spoke to Sharif after the latter returned from a visit to the school where around 140 people, mostly children, were slaughtered by Taliban gunmen.

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"India stands firmly with Pakistan in fight against terror. Told PM Sharif we are ready to provide all assistance during this hour of grief," he tweeted.

External affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin in a tweet posted the prime minister's statement during his talk with Sharif, which said Modi condemned in the strongest terms the brutal terrorist attack in Peshawar.

Modi said the "savage killing of innocent children, who are the epitome of the finest human values, in a temple of learning was not only an attack against Pakistan, but an assault against the entire humanity".

"At a time when the world is getting disturbingly accustomed to acts of terror, this terrible tragedy has shaken the conscience of the world," he said.

"He said the people of India shared the heart rending pain and sorrow of the bereaved families and the people of Pakistan and stood with them in solidarity in this hour of immeasurable grief.

"He (Modi) also hoped that the children who had witnessed the horrific attack and loss of their friends would come through this trauma with counselling."

Modi told Sharif that "this moment of shared pain and mourning is also a call for our two countries and all those who believe in humanity to join hands to decisively and comprehensively defeat terrorism, so that the children in Pakistan, India and elsewhere do not have to face a future darkened by the lengthening shadow of terrorism".

Earlier in the day, Modi tweeted his condemnation, saying: "It is a senseless act of unspeakable brutality that has claimed lives of the most innocent of human beings - young children in their school. My heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences," he said.

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