Washington: The United States has refrained from commenting on a possible joint military option with India as part of the recent agreement between the two countries to dismantle safe havens for terrorists and criminal networks, including those of the D-company.
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week committed themselves to joint and concerted efforts to disrupt all financial and tactical support to al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Haqqani network and the D-company, a reference to the network of Dawood Ibrahim believed to be living in Pakistan under official patronage.
"Those are not conversations that I'm going to get into here, but we're certainly talking about all of the different actions that we're taking ourselves through US strikes ISIL, for example," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said, referring to the terror group which has captured a swathe of land in Iraq and Syria.
She was asked if the recent India-US joint statement would involve military cooperation against the terror groups. "We are also open to our conversations with all of our partners in the region about what role they want to play and how they can be helpful in those efforts," Biswal told a select group of foreign correspondents here.
She said that there is a strong and growing collaboration between the US and India on counterterrorism, on sharing information and intelligence and capabilities, to essentially advance our shared objectives of security.
"Terrorism is a threat to the region. It is a threat to the United States, to our people and our institutions around the world. So we have sought to have a robust relationship on counterterrorism with India, with Pakistan, with all the countries of the region," she said.
Biswal said the US will continue to look for ways to expand and extend that cooperation bilaterally with each of those countries as well as looking for opportunities where it sees collaboration in joint arenas as well.
"With respect to groups that emanate in the region versus more global threats, I think we have had longstanding discussions with all the countries of the region on that, and we will continue to engage very, very proactively on those issues," she said.
"We are also looking to see that regional groups and global threats ? there's not a far distance between working together to address one versus working together to address the larger, broader global set of challenges.?I think that that's where the conversation is, is how we link up these efforts that are ongoing," Biswal said in response to a question.
Early this week, Indian officials refrained from making any statement on the military option but said that a hint is enough for a wise person.