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India, US ask Pak to take ‘irreversible action’ against terrorists

India and the US on Thursday asked Pakistan to take “immediate and irreversible action” to ensure that its territory is not used for terrorism, issuing a joint statement after talks between their foreign and defence ministers.

The statement asked Pakistan to take action against gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s criminal network and terrorist networks like al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and Lashkar-e-Taiba,

India and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of providing safe haven to the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network and other militant groups, which carry out attacks in the two countries.

The statement was issued at the end of the second India-US 2+2 dialogue between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the State Department on Wednesday amidst the historic impeachment vote against President Donald Trump.

The first 2+2 dialogue was held in New Delhi in September last year after the mechanism was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Trump.

“The Ministers called on Pakistan to take immediate, sustained and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorism against other countries in any manner, and to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of cross-border terrorist attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot,” said the statement.

India appreciated US support at the United Nations for terrorist designations, including of JeM leader Masood Azhar, and the US welcomed changes in Indian law that will facilitate further cooperation on terrorism designations, it said.

In one of the deadliest terror attacks in India’s history, 166 people, including six Americans, were killed and over 300 injured when 10 heavily-armed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated terrorist and founder of the LeT, was the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. The US has also offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.

Pakistan has been reluctant to take any concrete action against Saeed. It has also faced strict scrutiny and serious warnings from FATF (Financial Action Task Force) for its lack of action to curb terror financing by pro-terror groups and individuals, the statement said.

Taking note of the judicial cooperation on terrorism cases between the US Federal Judicial Center and the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, the two sides intend to facilitate further cooperation between them in new areas and through joint judicial workshops for third-country partners.

Source: Business Standard