The United States’ national security advisor and Afghan war veteran HR McMaster arrived in India on Tuesday for discussions after saying what India wants to hear about terrorism in Pakistan.
McMaster will meet his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and the two top officials are set to discuss a host of issues such as resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, the spread of Islamic state in the region and Pakistan-based terror groups.
Mc Master is visiting India after holding discussions with the leadership of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And New Delhi is so far pleased with what he said about terrorism in the region in public.
“The US hopes Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after terrorist groups less selectively than they have in the past,” he said in an interview to Afghan TV channel ToloNews.
“The best way to pursue their interest in the country and elsewhere is through diplomacy not through the use of proxies and engaging violence,” he said during his first visit to Afghanistan.
India has been accusing Pakistan of using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
McMaster arrived in Pakistan on an unannounced visit on Monday after travelling to Afghanistan, where he told the media that Pakistan should target militant groups “less selectively” and pursue diplomacy that does not use “proxies that engage in violence”.
A statement from the US embassy in Islamabad said McMaster expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s democratic and economic development but also “stressed the need to confront terrorism in all its forms”.
McMaster, who was in Pakistan for the first time as the NSA, discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues during meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, special advisor to the prime minister Sartaj Aziz, and his counterpart Nasser Khan Janjua.
The US is concerned as 9,000 of its troops are on Afghan soil. For India, there are concerns about the peace process in Afghanistan being hijacked by Pakistan or being influenced by what New Delhi sees as a closer cooperation between Pakistan and China.