Cementing India-US ties further, visiting US secretary of state Hillary Clinton focused on the role of Pakistan-based terror groups in attacks in Afghanistan and India.
She met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and national security adviser Shivshankar Menon on Monday evening. Both sides were quite sceptical on whether Pakistan was doing enough to stamp out terror groups targeting its neighbours. She also revealed that the Jalaluddin-Sirajuddin Haqqani network was a bigger threat than the Taliban in Kabul.
Government sources told HT that Clinton discussed global issues, including Pakistan terrorism, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The meetings were marked by candid exchange of views and sharing of information about the regional environment. Clinton will meet external affairs minister SM Krishna on Tuesday before flying back to Washington.
It is understood that the Indian leadership explained its fresh initiative to engage with Pakistan in a bilateral dialogue to resolve outstanding disputes. However, the leadership remains unsure whether Islamabad can deliver on the 26/11 investigations and terrorism fronts.
Krishna is expected to take up the need to rein in the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its chief patron Hafiz Saeed in his meeting on Tuesday. Cutting out any confusion, Clinton went on record in Kolkata that it was she who had authorised the $10 million bounty on 26/11 main accused Saeed.
During the discussion on Afghanistan, the two sides were concerned about the role played by the Haqqani network, which has been responsible for a string of brazen attacks and suicide bombings in Kabul. The netwok is backed by Pakistani's ISI and has links with LeT's Saeed.
Iran also came up for discussion, with the Indian leadership and the visiting dignitary conveying their points of view without imposing any diktats on each other.
Clinton talks Teesta, FDI, Iran | Hillary set to reiterate stated US position