US backs India, says 'Pakistan must go after terrorist groups which harm its neighbours'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday advocated the strongest action against states that use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

Updated: Sep 09, 2016, 00:52 AM IST
PlayUS backs India, says 'Pakistan must go after terrorist groups which harm its neighbours'
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Vientiane/Washington: Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday advocated the strongest action against states that use terrorism as an instrument of state policy, the United States in a blunt message told Pakistan that it cannot "pick and choose" the terrorist groups it goes after.

The US also told Pakistan that it has to target militants who seek to harm its neighbours by taking refuge on its territory.

At the same time, US rejected 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's remarks that America and India have joined hands against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the recent US-India defence logistics agreement is anti-Muslim.

"...I would dismiss it (Saeed's comments) outright," Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said in his daily press briefing.

"...We made it very clear that Pakistan can't pick and choose which terrorist groups it goes after and it has to go after those groups that seek to do harm to its neighbours and may seek refuge on Pakistani soil," he said, as per PTI.

Toner said the US has a strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan, "but one that is premised on counter-terrorism cooperation and as part of that conversation, or that dialogue and that cooperation that we have on counter-terrorism issues."

The US earlier said it is in constant "conversation" with the Pakistani leadership on the threats posed by terror organisations like the Haqqani network and LeT operating in the region.

The dreaded Haqqani network, which is blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people, has also carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan, the Afghan government and other civilian targets.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had refused to give the necessary Congressional certification to Pakistan and had blocked military aid worth USD 300 million to Islamabad for not taking sufficient action against the Haqqani network. 

One country in neighbourhood producing, exporting terror: PM Modi

Meanwhile, stepping up his attack on Pakistan, PM Modi today said there is "one country in our neighbourhood" which "produces and exports" terror as he pressed the international community to isolate and sanction "this" instigator.

"We need to target not only the terrorists, but also their entire supporting ecosystem," PM Modi added while addressing the 11th East Asia Summit, the premier forum of the Asia-Pacific region.

"And, our strongest action should be reserved for those state actors who employ terrorism as an instrument of state policy," he said without naming Pakistan, as per IANS.

The PM's fresh jibes directed at Pakistan came three days after he launched a sharp attack on Pakistan, saying that "one single nation" in South Asia is spreading the "agents of terror".

He had told the G20 leaders in Hangzhou on Monday that those who sponsor the menace must be sanctioned and isolated, not rewarded.

PM Modi meets President Barack Obama 

On the other hand, President Barack Obama today told PM Modi said that US "strongly supported" India's NSG membership bid, as they discussed the immediate priorities in the strategic partnership, including deepening the civil nuclear cooperation and combating climate change on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, their eighth in the last two years.

A White House official, giving details of the meeting, said, "Reaffirming the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and India, the President underscored that the United States strongly supports India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)."

The US has been playing a lead role in supporting India's bid in the 48-member elite group. China had scuttled New Delhi's bid at the Plenary Session of NSG in June.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of the deepening partnership between the US and India and the value of their shared engagement in the region, including through the East Asia Summit, the official said.

(With Agency inputs)