South Asian Insider
US asks Pakistan to act against culprits of Uri, Pathankot, Mumbai attacks
In the two-plus-two dialogue between the India and US, the two countries also decided to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists. A joint statement issued by India and the US after the two-plus-two talks in New Delhi on September 6, mentions Pakistan twice in the context of “cross border terrorist attacks”, and even refers to the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, raising the hope that Trump administration will walk the talk on ramping up diplomatic pressure on India’s neighbour to rein in terrorist outfits. The two-plus-two dialogue between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their US counterparts Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James N Mattis saw the two countries strongly urging Pakistan to take various measures to stop cross border terrorism. “India supports President Trump’s South Asia Policy. His call for Pakistan to stop its policy of supporting cross-border terrorism finds resonance with us,” Swaraj said. The mention of “cross-border terrorist attacks” in the joint statement further buttressed India’s position that Pakistan continues to use its territory to aid and abet terrorist attacks against India. The joint statement mentioned Pakistan twice, urging the country to act against terrorist outfits that target India; a similar statement in 2016 had mentioned the neighbour only once. The sides also decided to increase “information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists,” the joint statement issued after the meeting said. “The counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US has acquired a new qualitative edge and purpose. We have agreed to deepen ties in international forums like the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force”, Sushma Swaraj said. “The ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region, and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, they called on Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, and other cross-border terrorist attacks,” said the joint statement. The 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai killed 166 people including six Americans. The two sides also expressed satisfaction over the working of the a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists launched in 2017.This is aimed at strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who met Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday ahead of landing in India for the dialogue pressed him to take “sustained and decisive measures” against terrorists threatening regional peace and stability. Pompeo’s statement came days after the US cancelled $300 million in military aid to Islamabad for failing to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil.
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