India, US ask Pak to deny haven to ultras

'Stop distinguishing between good and bad terrorists'

India, US ask Pak to deny haven to ultras

 India and the United States on Tuesday asked Pakistan to stop distinguishing between “good” and “bad” terrorists and deny sanctuaries to all terror networks.

Even as the US sought to nudge India for talks with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear to her counterpart and American Secretary of State, John Kerry, that New Delhi would not resume dialogue with Islamabad unless the neighbouring country stopped export of terror across the border.

Sushma conveyed to Kerry India’s concerns on cross-border terrorism from Pakistan during the second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which took place in New Delhi on Tuesday.

 They were also joined by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

The external affairs minister noted that not only India, but other countries in the region had also been targeted by terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

Sushma and Kerry agreed on early implementation of the Agreement on Exchange of Information on Known or Suspected Terrorists.

They also agreed that India and the US would intensify intelligence sharing and continue to work closely to get terrorist entities designated and sanctioned by the United Nations.

“We both agreed that nations must not maintain double standards, such as the categorisation of good and bad terrorists, nor must they act as sanctuaries and safe havens for terrorist organisations,” said Sushma, while addressing a news-conference along with Kerry after the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. Pritzker and Nirmala were also present in the news-conference.

“There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist,” said Kerry, adding that the US had conveyed to Pakistan that it must deny sanctuaries to all terror networks.
The India-US strategic and commercial dialogue took place at a time when New Delhi’s troubled ties with Islamabad worsened further, after the neighbouring country raised its pitch on Kashmir in the wake of the unrest in the valley.

Sushma conveyed that the Modi government had tried to mend India’s ties with Pakistan. She said that despite attempts by New Delhi to restart talks,   Islamabad did not act.
She said that Pakistan had neither expedited the trial of the plotters of the Mumbai terror strike, nor did it act to bring to justice the masterminds of the Pathankot airbase attack.

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