India and the US have urged Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, while reiterating the threat posed by al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani network, Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
The 2008 militant assault on India’s financial capital Mumbai had killed 166 people and injured 293 others.
In a joint statement issued after the conclusion of the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, the two countries reiterated “the threat posed by al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, D-Company and Haqqani network and other regional groups that seek to undermine stability in South Asia”.
They also condemned “the July 27, 2015 terrorist attack in Gurdaspur in Punjab and August 5, 2015 attack in Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir”. India blames Pakistan-based terrorists for both the attacks.
“This demonstrates the fact that we are determined to fight terrorism together,” Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said in response to a question at an address she made jointly with Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of State John Kerry and his cabinet colleague, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
India and the US are discussing some of the most complicated issues of the day, said Kerry as he and Swaraj led their high-level delegations for the dialogue.
The two countries also reaffirmed “joint commitment to a stable and sovereign Afghanistan and identify next steps”, said Kerry at the news briefing.
Moreover, the US has reiterated its support for India’s membership of the four major multilateral export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation.
The senior US and Indian officials’ meeting in Washington did not single out Beijing by name, but China loomed over the talks as the United States prepares to host India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the heels of a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2015.