New Delhi [India]: India and the United States (U.S.) on Monday reaffirmed the “urgent necessity” for Pakistan to “dismantle safe havens for terrorists and criminal networks” including Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and D-Company.
Speaking at a joint press conference after the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), along with her U.S. counterpart John Kerry, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “Secretary Kerry and I also agreed on the need for Pakistan to do more to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice quickly.”
Divulging detail of their dialogue, Swaraj said, “Secretary Kerry and I discussed at length the issue of terrorism, which is the key challenge to the international community, and the foremost threat to international peace and security. I am happy to note that there was a ‘meeting of minds’ on this issue.”
Stating that she briefed Secretary Kerry on the continuing problem of cross-border terrorism that India and the larger region faces from Pakistan, Swaraj said, “We both agreed that nations must not maintain double standards, such as the categorisation of good and bad terrorists, nor must they act as sanctuaries and safe havens for terrorist organisations.”
“I thanked Secretary Kerry for the U.S. constant support for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). This interaction has strengthened the US-India relationship, and I hope it contributes to the world at large,” she added.
Earlier delivering opening remarks at the Opening Plenary during the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), Swaraj said there is scope to do a lot more and this would be an important element of their deliberations.
Swaraj said, “For this, we need to define the benefits associated with India’s designation as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the U.S. during the Prime Minister’s visit in June. This would spur defence industry collaboration between India and the U.S. and help India play the desired role as a net provider of security in the region.”
The External Affairs Minister said it is heartening to note that “we have been able to conclude a framework for the India-U.S. Cyber Relationship – the first of its kind both for India and the US, with any other country”.
Pointing out that both countries share the same democratic ethos of freedom, equality, pluralism and rule of law, she said, “India’s enhanced global role is in our mutual interest. It is in this context, we look forward to continue working closely with the U.S. to secure our membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).”
“In view of the rapidly evolving regional and global situation,” said Swaraj, “we look forward to resuming the meeting of the Trilateral with Afghanistan; consultations on Africa and on multilateral issues within this year.” (ANI)