Big boost for India as US joins it to seek justice in 2008, 2016 terror attacks backed by Pakistan
The two sides also deliberated on the situation in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to prevent any group or individual from using the country’s territory against other nations’ security.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi with US secretary of state Antony Blinken (second from left) and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin (left), in New Delhi, India, on Friday, November 10, 2023. (ANI Photo)
INDIA and the US on Friday (10) came up with a veiled message to Pakistan by reiterating their condemnation of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the terror strike at the Pathankot air base in India’s Punjab state in 2016 for bringing the perpetrators to justice.
New Delhi and Washington unequivocally condemned terrorism and violent extremism in a joint statement at the end of the ‘2+2’ foreign and defence ministerial dialogue in the Indian capital and the use of terrorist proxies and logistical, financial or military support to terror outfits.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken and defence secretary Lloyd Austin led the American delegation at the talks while the Indian side was headed by external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh.
India, US also deliberate on Afghanistan situation
The two sides also deliberated on the situation in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to adhere to their commitment to prevent any group or individual from using the territory of Afghanistan to threaten the security of any country.
India and the US also urged the Taliban to respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and members of minority groups and uphold freedom of travel.
“India and the US reiterated their condemnation of the 26/11 Mumbai attack and the Pathankot attack and called for bringing the perpetrators of these attacks to justice,” the statement said.
“The ministers also called for concerted action against all terrorists, including through designations of individuals affiliated with groups that are listed by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee, such as Al-Qa’ida, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed,” it said.
Pakistan-based terror groups were behind the 2008 and 2016 attacks on Indian soil.
The ministers emphasised the importance of upholding international standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, consistent with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
Both the countries reiterated their commitment to work together in FATF and other multilateral platforms.
“They expressed determination to counter new and emerging forms of terrorism and violent extremism and the use of emerging and evolving technologies such as unmanned aerial systems and the internet for terrorist purposes,” the statement said.
It said the ministers decided to convene the 20th meeting of the India-US joint working group on counter terrorism and the fifth designations dialogue at a mutually convenient date early next year. “Both sides are looking forward to the next edition of the homeland security dialogue in 2024, where leaders will advance security cooperation, through capacity building and other activities.”
The two sides also recognised the need to bolster protection of critical networks and information infrastructure.
(With PTI inputs)