Will raise Pak-sponsored terror issue with Sharif, Obama tells PM
US President Barack Obama has promised to take up with Nawaz Sharif in a "frank" manner the issue of continued Pakistan-based terror directed against India as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told him that progress in dialogue will depend on action on this front.
Washington: US President Barack Obama has promised to take up with Nawaz Sharif in a "frank" manner the issue of continued Pakistan-based terror directed against India as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told him that progress in dialogue will depend on action on this front.
The promise was conveyed to Singh during their summit meeting here on Friday when the Prime Minister referred to the attacks in Jammu two days back and highlighted how terror emanating from Pakistan impacts India "every waking hour" day in and day out, according to sources.
The US side shared India`s deep concern over the threat posed by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) to India as well as the region and the world after Singh told him that the terror outfit along with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) gets "handsome financial support" from the government of Punjab in Pakistan, the sources said.
Singh and Obama, who held discussions for about three hours, talked about terrorism in the context of the situation in Afghanistan, with the US President saying that the "major wild card" in this regard is Pakistan.
Both the leaders felt the need for enhancing cooperation against terrorism.
The US side wanted to know in what aspects the cooperation between India and the US could be further strengthened, the sources said.
Obama expressed deepest sympathies for the loss of life in the twin attacks in Jammu on Thursday by terrorists on an army camp and a police station in Samba. Ten people, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed in the attacks.
Obama said he will have "frank" conversation in this regard with the Pakistan Prime Minister when they meet here on October 23.
The US President appreciated Singh`s wisdom in the context of taking forward the dialogue process with Pakistan, the sources said.
Singh said India faces difficult challenges and that the safe havens and terror sanctuaries in Pakistan needed to be dealt with effectively not only for security but also for the prospect of progress of the dialogue.
The Prime Minister said day in and day out, terror movements based in Pakistan continuously threaten India, the sources said.
There is no diminution of terror campaign as also the hate campaign against India, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan-based terrorism also affects Afghanistan and that the region stands to gain if these issues are satisfactorily addressed.
Obama said that he wondered whether institutions like Army in Pakistan have undertaken "strategic re-assessment".
He said Pakistan stands to gain by cooperation with India.
Obama said that Pakistan needs to focus on issues like energy and trade etc instead of India, the sources said.
India is of the view that it will have to "wrestle" with terrorism while continuing talks with Pakistan.
Obama is believed to have said the problem of terrorism is inherent in the neighbourhood in which India is situated. The mention came while the leaders were discussing Afghanistan post-2014.
Obama referred to India`s work and assistance programme in Afghanistan and applauded it.
The US side said it was keen on expediting the bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan, observing that it would be a template for the future of the country after US-led forces leave. Underlining that time is of essence, the US side said systems and arrangements needed to be put in place.
Obama was in agreement with Singh that the stability of Afghanistan is of strategic importance. He hoped that India could convince President Karzai in this regard.
The US had tried for reconciliation between Karzai government and Taliban but the efforts could not fructify. They will continue to see how to facilitate this, the sources said.
Obama said the US` goals are "pretty modest".
The Prime Minister underlined the need for preserving and protecting the gains of the last few years, particularly in the context of upholding the rights of women.