Washington: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the US Congress that terrorism is being "incubated in India's neighbourhood", the United States on Thursday told Pakistan in no uncertain terms that it has to stop attacks originating from its territory against India.
"This is one of the steps that the US is encouraging Pakistan to do for the improvement of its relations with India," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.
"We believe that Pakistan and India stand to benefit from practical cooperation and encourage direct dialogue aimed at increasing cooperation and reducing tensions," Toner said further.
"And that includes steps by Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to plan attacks in India and that Pakistan takes steps to address or to go after, I think, all the terrorist groups that are currently using its territory," he added.
Toner said this "continues to be an area of collaboration and cooperation that we pursue with Pakistan is its counter-terrorism operations", adding Pakistan was one of the issues discussed during the meeting between PM Modi and US President Barack Obama at the White House this week.
"Certainly that was one of the discussions, frankly, that was raised in discussions with Prime Minister Modi. They talked about a wide range of regional issues, in fact," he said.
"Our bilateral relations with India and Pakistan are separate and stand on their own merits, and so I don't think we - it's not prudent for us to view our security cooperation in the region in kind of a zero-sum game - or zero-sum terms, rather.
"I think it's important for the countries of the region that they all have constructive security relationships with each other. And that's Pakistan, that's India, and it's also Afghanistan," Toner said.