Washington: In a bid to tackle the growing terrorist networks, India and the United States have decided to deepen their counter-terrorism, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). India’s Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar and American National Security Adviser Susan Rice held a meeting at the White House in Washington. D.C. on Tuesday, where the two also affirmed their commitment in deepening bilateral cooperation on climate change, trade, and defense.
The White House, after the meeting, issued a press release where it said that both officials discussed US-India collaboration against LeT, JeM, and other terrorist threats.India has blamed the two terrorist groups orchestrating a number of attacks on Indian soil.
In the recent one, India accused the JeM of carrying out the attack on air force base in Pathankot on January 2, which at least eight people dead. New Delhi has also pressed about the role of LeT for orchestrating the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 which over 150 dead.
In a related development, the United States State Department has rejected the view that ties with India have hit a roadblock in the wake of Washington deciding to go ahead with the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, besides other bilateral differences.
“I think we have had and we look forward to continuing to have a good, strong relationship with India writ large and with the Modi government specifically,” State Department spokesman John Kirby was quoted, as saying after Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s meetings with Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and other government officials.
Kirby said, “There are a lot of common issues, common challenges, common threats, quite frankly, that we and the Indian people face. I think we have got a good, honest, candid, productive relationship with the Modi government, and we look forward to that continuing. In fact, we look forward to deepening it.”
The meeting between Jaishankar and Rice was held to review preparations for the upcoming 50-nation Nuclear Security Summit, due to be held in Washington from March 31-April 1. Both, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are due to attend the summit.