Wellington: The US on Monday said it is working with India to improve counter-terrorism cooperation as it stressed on the need for joint and concerted efforts to disrupt and degrade entities such as LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), 'D-Company' and the Haqqani Network.
Noting that US and India have committed to making counter-terrorism cooperation a key component of bilateral ties, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said that in recent years his country has led a global coalition to "degrade, disrupt and dismantle" terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL.
"President Obama and Prime Minister Modi have also called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and stopping their cross-border movement," he said, speaking at the Defence Services Staff College here.
At the Defence Staff Service College, Verma held an interaction with faculty and students on 'Emerging Indo-US Strategic Ties'. Accompanied by US Counsul General in Chennai Phillip Minh and US Air Attache Robert Capozella, the Ambassador also met two student officers from US Army and Navy who are undergoing the staff course at DSSC.
"Our leaders have also affirmed the need for joint and concerted efforts to disrupt and degrade entities such as LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), D Company and the Haqqani Network, and agreed to continue ongoing efforts through the Homeland Security Dialogue and the US-India Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism," he said.
His comments came just two days after Pakistan called off NSA-level talks with India. India had prepared an extensive dossier on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim who is believed to be based in Karachi under the patronage of ISI.
Talking on the subject 'Growing US-India defence cooperation', he said both countries are also working on efforts to improve cooperation on UN terrorist designations and expand the sharing of information on known or suspected terrorists "no matter where they may be located".
"Our counter-terrorism cooperation can become a model for the region and potentially for the world, and it is another factor that makes me genuinely optimistic about our future defence and security partnership together," he said.
Verma stressed that US and India face a formidable set of international challenges, from the freedom of access to shared maritime and air routes, humanitarian crises in an increasingly interconnected world, and the continuing threat from non-state actors and extremist groups.
He made it clear that bilateral defence cooperation is not based on a limited set of strategic priorities, nor is it directed toward a particular country. Rather, it is rooted in our shared values.
He said that in today's dynamic and globally connected world, a deeper understanding of the maritime domain and the readiness to protect critical trade routes has never been more important.