On Sunday, the Indian and United States governments released a joint statement, following the 17th meeting of the US-India Counter-Terrorism Joint Working Group and 3rd Session of the US-India Designations Dialogue. The high-level meeting between Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary (Counterterrorism) of Ministry of External Affairs, and Ambassador Nathan A Sales of the US State Department (Counterterrorism) was held on September 9-10 via video conferencing.
During the meeting, the Indian and US government highlighted the threats posed by radical Islamist terror outfits such as ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), al-Qa’ida, Hizb-ul Mujahideen etc and also reiterated the need for ‘concerted action’ against the said terror organisations. They condemned the use of terror proxies, cross-border-terrorism and exchanged crucial information about procedures to impose sanctions against terror outfits and designated terrorists.
US supports India, calls upon Pakistan to take action against terrorists
“The two sides underlined the urgent need for Pakistan to take immediate, sustained, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks. The US reiterated its support for the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism,” the statement read. During the meeting, the Indian and US governments reiterated the need for strengthening co-operation on ‘information sharing’ to impose international travel restrictions on terrorists, as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2396.
US-India discuss the need for strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation
The joint statement further added, “Participants also highlighted their efforts to address some of the world’s most pressing counter-terrorism challenges, including countering the financing and operations of terrorist organizations, countering radicalization and terrorist use of the internet, cross-border movement of terrorists and prosecuting, rehabilitating, and reintegrating returning terrorist fighters and family members. The two sides discussed mutual legal and extradition assistance, bilateral law enforcement training, and cooperation.
‘Pakistan yet to take concrete action against terror groups,’ says US State Dept
Pakistan continues to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally-focused terrorist groups. The US State Department’s Pakistan report on Terrorism 2019 said that it allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory. The report added that Pakistan is yet to concrete action against India and Afghanistan-focused terror groups that aimed to undermine the operational capabilities of the two countries.
“While Pakistani authorities indicted LeT co-founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his associates on December 11, they have made no effort to use domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir, the mastermind of LeT’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, both of whom are widely believed to reside in Pakistan under the protection of the state, despite government denials,” the report said.