Pak’s harbouring of terrorist groups destabilising, obstacle in talks with India: US

Updated on Oct 22, 2019 08:00 AM IST

We believe the foundation of any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists in its territory, said the US.

Restarting a productive bilateral dialogue requires building trust, and the chief obstacle remains Pakistan’s continued support for extremist groups that engage in cross-border terrorism, said Wells.(AP FILE)
Restarting a productive bilateral dialogue requires building trust, and the chief obstacle remains Pakistan’s continued support for extremist groups that engage in cross-border terrorism, said Wells.(AP FILE)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Pakistan’s continued support to extremist groups that engage in cross-border terrorism remains the “chief obstacle” to talks with India. said the US on Tuesday.

“Restarting a productive bilateral dialogue requires building trust, and the chief obstacle remains Pakistan’s continued support for extremist groups that engage in cross-border terrorism,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells.

“Pakistan’s harbouring of terrorist groups like Lashkar-e- Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed, which seek to foment violence across the Line of Control, is destabilising, and Pakistani authorities remain accountable for their actions,” she said in a warning to Pakistan.

The US statement came days after Indian forces targeted three terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and killed 6-10 Pakistan soldiers after infiltration attempt by them in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangdhar sector.

Wells also said the US supports a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan, as outlined in the 1972 Shimla Agreement.

“We believe that direct dialogue between India and Pakistan, as outlined in the 1972 Shimla Agreement, holds the most potential for reducing tensions,” Wells told Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

She said during 2006-2007 backchannel negotiations, India and Pakistan reportedly made significant progress on a number of issues, including Kashmir.

“History shows us what is possible,” Wells said in a prepared statement submitted to the Congressional subcommittee on the eve of the hearing “Human Rights in South Asia: Views from the State Department and the Region”.

“We believe the foundation of any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists in its territory,” Wells said.

Two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed in the unprovoked ceasefire violation in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir on the intervening night of October 19-20. Army chief Bipin Rawat said that terrorists have been advancing towards the camps in the forward areas. In last one month, he said, there have been repeated attempts.

Both US resident Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have met and spoken with their Indian and Pakistani counterparts multiple times, including at the recent United Nations General Assembly, to encourage dialogue, she told the lawmakers in the prepared statement.

(With PTI Inputs)

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