India and the United States have asked Islamabad to “meaningfully address” the international community’s concerns on terrorism, including that emanating from across the border from Pakistan.
The concern was raised in a statement by the Indian Embassy here after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and his American counterpart Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale held Foreign Office Consultations here at the State Department, nearly a month after the Pulwama terror attack.
“Both sides called on Pakistan to meaningfully address the concerns of the international community on terrorism, including cross-border terrorism,” the statement said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.
India has provided a dossier to Pakistan, detailing the role of JeM in the Pulwama terror attack. India has also said that Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against JeM and other terrorist organisations, which continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan.
On Monday, Gokhale called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and they agreed that Pakistan must take “concerted action” to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups on its soil.
Gokhale and Hale also reaffirming their commitment to the Indo-US Strategic Partnership and they reviewed the progress made since the first Ministerial 2+2 meeting held last September and discussed ways to further expand cooperation.
While cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region formed an important part of their deliberations, they also discussed counterterrorism cooperation and a range of global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the current situation in Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, the State Department said in a readout of the meeting.
“They affirmed the vitality of the US-India strategic partnership and the importance of joint leadership to strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region,” the State Department said, amidst China increasingly flexing its muscles in the region.
The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
Beijing asserts nearly all of the South China Sea as its territory, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts.
During the meeting, Gokhale and Hale affirmed their support for increased cooperation to include advancing initiatives undertaken as part of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue process.
“Recognising that the US and India share complementary visions for the Indo-Pacific, they agreed to deepen cooperation toward their joint goals in the region, including in conjunction with other Indo-Pacific partners,” the State Department said.
According to the Indian Embassy, Gokhale and Hale exchanged views on building convergence in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to work with each other and regional partners to promote inclusivity, stability, peace and prosperity in the region.