Kerry urges Pakistan to push harder against groups linked to extremists

Allow people to hold protests Kerry tells India

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in India for the Indo-US strategic and commercial dialogue, is literally under the clouds.

He said the USA and India are witnessing a defining moment in their relationship.

Since 2001, Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in USA aid, including some $14 billion in “Coalition Support Funds” – reimbursements for counterterrorism efforts.

The two visiting US Secretaries briefed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue that concluded in New Delhi.

“I would not expect progress on the Bilateral Investment Treaty this time around although I am sure many are hoping to be pleasantly surprised”, said Dhruva Jaishankar, a foreign policy fellow at Brookings India.

Also, there is also no information available yet on what would be his engagements in the next two days.

The deal involving USA giant Westinghouse has been held up in the past by concerns over an Indian law that would make US companies liable for accidents at plants they helped build.

In this connection, Kirby, in his briefing said: “We all recognise the continued security threat that is posed by the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups that operate inside Pakistan and along that border between Afghanistan and Pakistan”. “They reiterated states should resolve disputes through peaceful means, and exercise self-restraint in conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability”, the statement said, without referring to any party to the dispute by name. He said, “The battle to counter terrorists and extremists can not be won by one nation. Terror is terror, no matter where it comes from”.

“The sides noted the discussions held on the full range of counter terrorism issues during the India-US Counter Terrorism Joint Working Group meeting held in July 2016 in Washington, DC, welcoming initiatives to expeditiously exchange terrorist screening information, enhance coordination on proposed United Nations designations of terrorist entities, and expedite mutual legal assistance requests”, the statement said.

The Haqqani network was founded by a veteran anti-Soviet mujahideen leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, and is now led by his son, Sirajuddin, who has a $10 million dollar USA reward on his head and was named earlier this year as one of two new deputy leaders of the Taliban. The two countries stressed “the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation, freedom of overflight, and unimpeded lawful commerce throughout the region, including in the South China Sea”. India is an established power and an essential partner of the US. The third thing, we want membership of the Security Council.

He also mentioned the military logistic sharing agreement signed by India and USA on Monday.