India and the United States on Tuesday called on Pakistan to take “immediate, sustained and irreversible” action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorism. They also urged Islamabad to “expeditiously bring to justice” the perpetrators of all terror attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai, Uri, and Pathankot.
The strong request was made in a joint statement issued after the the “2+2” dialogue between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper, and their Indian counterparts – Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh – on Tuesday.
The statement said that the two sides denounced the use of terrorist proxies and strongly condemned cross border terrorism in all its forms. They called for “concerted action” against all terrorist networks, including al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
“The Ministers also committed to continued exchange of information about sanctions and designations against terror groups and individuals, particularly in light of recent legislative changes in India, as well as countering the financing and operations of terrorist organizations, countering radicalism and terrorist use of the internet, cross-border movement of terrorists, and prosecuting, rehabilitating, and reintegrating returning terrorist fighters and family members.”— Ministry of External Affairs
Hours before, the Ministry of Home Affairs designated 18 more individuals as terrorists under the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2019. This includes Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Salahudeen, founders of Indian Mujahideen Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, and gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide Chota Shakeel.
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The statement added that Pompeo and Esper, along with their Indian counterparts will enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora, including the United Nations. “They also reaffirmed their support for the early adoption of a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism,” the two sides said.
Earlier in the day, India and the United States signed an agreement expanding military satellite information sharing and highlighted strategic cooperation between Washington and New Delhi with an eye toward countering China. Pompeo and Esper also paid tribute to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clash between India and China in June.
Pompeo also stepped up the Trump administration’s anti-China message and said his country will stand with India in its efforts to guard its sovereignty and liberty. “Our leaders and citizens see with increasing clarity that [the] Chinese Communist Party is no friend to democracy, rule of law and transparency,” he said. “I’m glad to say India and the US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all manner of threats and not just those posed by CCP.”