US, India bolster ties, warn Pakistan over extremists

August 31, 2016 | By | Reply More

Aug  31, – Speaking on a visit to New Delhi, US Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ties once clouded by suspicion had progressed “amazingly” in the last two years and echoed President Barack Obama’s description of their relationship as “the defining partnership of the 21st century”.

US, India bolster ties, warn Pakistan over extremistsThe United States and India urged Pakistan Tuesday to do more to counter extremist groups operating from its soil as the world’s two largest democracies announced measures to strengthen security and energy ties.

India and the United States have a common goal in creating a counterbalance to the rise of China and hold regular top-level dialogue in Delhi and Washington under a formal strategic partnership.

But a flare-up in violence in Kashmir meant that India’s arch-rival Pakistan featured prominently in talks between Kerry and his counterpart, Sushma Swaraj.

After Foreign Minister Swaraj reiterated long-running accusations that Pakistan was “providing safe havens to terror groups,” Kerry also urged Islamabad to do more to combat extremists operating from its territory.

He said it was vital Islamabad moved to “deprive any group of sanctuary”, highlighting the threat posed by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist group behind a string of anti-Indian attacks.

“We will not and we cannot make distinctions between good and bad terrorists… Terrorism is terrorism,” Kerry said at a press conference alongside Swaraj.

Kerry said the US government had “had conversations with all members of the region frankly about efforts they need to take against terrorism which comes out of their country”, adding that he had personally raised the issue with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

India has accused Pakistan of stoking a new bout of unrest in Kashmir, the troubled Himalayan region which has been divided between the two countries since independence in 1947 and is claimed in full by both.

Around 70 civilians have been killed since the beginning of last month in the aftermath of the Indian army’s killing of a charismatic young separatist leader and a curfew remains in place in many parts of Kashmir.

Swaraj said there was “a meeting of minds” during her talks with Kerry on tackling the threats posed by extremists as she reiterated long-standing accusations that Pakistan was sponsoring “cross-border terrorism”.

“We repeated our stand that Pakistan should stop providing safe havens to terror groups… We also agreed that countries must not categorise terrorists as good or bad,” said the Indian foreign minister.

Both sides said that there had been an agreement to step up cooperation on intelligence.

“We agree on additional measures to strengthen our counterterrorism,” said Swaraj. “We will intensify intelligence sharing.”

Press journalist for HROmedia – Saurav Nag reports.

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Category: International

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