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India, US ask Pakistan to dismantle terrorist infrastructure, deny safe haven to terror groups

India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photograph:( ANI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 11, 2019, 09.36 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India and the United States have called on Pakistan to act on terror and to dismantle terror infrastructure in the country. 

According to a statement released by India's Ministry of External Affairs after a meeting between India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo in Washington, the two "agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and to deny safe haven to all terrorist groups in its territory".

The two also agreed that those "who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable". 

The announcements come against the backdrop of the February 14 Pulwama terrorist attack for which the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group has claimed responsibility. 

Gokhale conveyed his appreciation to the US government and to Secretary Pompeo "personally for the firm support that India received from the US" in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack. Secretary Pompeo in turn expressed his "understanding of India's concerns regarding cross-border terrorism."

On trade, the foreign secretary "underscored the significant reduction in trade deficit" in the last three years and conveyed "India's willingness to remain engaged with the US for a meaningful and mutually acceptable package". 

Remember, the US announced recently that it would withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences (duty benefits which Washington gives to many countries) it accords to India. The withdrawal will come into effect in about 60 days.

Gokhale and Pompeo also discussed the Afghan peace process and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Gokhale is in Washington from March 11 to 13 for the bilateral Foreign Office Consultation and Strategic Security Dialogue with his US counterpart. During his visit, the foreign secretary is also likely to meet with senior leaders in the US administration and US Congress. 

US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo had visited India in September of 2018 for the first-ever 2+2 Dialogue. 

Story highlights

India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo, who met in Washington, also agreed that those 'who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable'.