India steps up US diplomacy on Pak-sponsored terror

India steps up US diplomacy on Pak-sponsored terror

India steps up its diplomatic exercise with the United States as President Donald Trump's administration exerts pressure on Pakistan to act against terror outfits operating from its soil.

With the US suspending all security assistance to Pakistan, Washington's envoy to New Delhi, Kenneth Juster, met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and briefed him on the future course of actions that the Trump administration was contemplating to mount pressure on Islamabad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is also in touch with his US counterpart Gen (retired) H R McMaster.

India and the US are working together at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organisation coordinating global efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing. An FATF team is likely to visit Pakistan to probe flow of funds to terror organisations.

New Delhi is of the view that it has been vindicated by the US move on Friday of suspending all security assistance to Pakistan, including $ 900 million as coalition support fund and $ 255 million as foreign military funding.

Sources in New Delhi said India would try to impress upon the US not to lift the funds freeze as long as Islamabad does not act against all terrorist groups, including anti-India outfits based in Pakistan like Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Pak misusing funds

Announcing the suspension of America's security assistance to Pakistan, the US State Department's spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the flow of military aid would not restart until Islamabad acts decisively against the terror groups, including Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.

The US has so far been more keen on pressing Pakistan to act against Taliban and Al Qaeda and, of late, Islamic State, but has not done much to prod Islamabad to act against LeT and JeM. New Delhi's contention is that Islamabad must be made to drop its selective approach of striking against some terrorist organisations while patronising some others.

New Delhi, according to the sources, has been accusing Islamabad of misusing the US aid for funding anti-India terror organisations like LeT and JeM, instead of combating Al Qaeda and Taliban.

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