Kerry asks India not to escalate ‘situation’ with Pakistan


US wants Islamabad to delegitimise all terror outfits

New Delhi—The United States has asked India not to escalate the situation with Pakistan even as New Delhi explores a range of diplomatic options to isolate Islamabad.
According to Indian Express, US Secretary of State John Kerry has had “two conversations” over the “last two days” with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on this issue. Swaraj was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly where she made a speech Monday, targeting Pakistan.
This is the first time that the US has spoken to the Indian leadership at a senior political level after the Uri attack, sources said.
Although it is poll season in the US, the State Department is keeping a close eye on developments in the subcontinent.
These conversations, sources said, happened in the backdrop of India and Pakistan raising the temperature over the last two days. After a review of the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty on Monday, India decided to pull out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad in November. On Thursday, Indian prime minister chaired a meeting of the cabinet committee on security.
After Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Kerry last week, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said: “We’ve seen some progress; we want to see more, and I think moving forward we’ll just continue to work closely and try to encourage greater counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan but also within the region.”
The US National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Wednesday called her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and told him that the White House expects Pakistan to take “effective action to combat and delegitimise” UN-designated terrorist groups.
“Highlighting the danger that cross-border terrorism poses to the region, Ambassador Rice reiterated our expectation that Pakistan take effective action to combat and delegitimise United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, and their affiliates,” Ned Price, the spokesperson of National Security Council, said in a statement.
Ms Rice, speaking to Mr Doval on the phone, strongly condemned the September 18 terror attack on an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri by terrorists who crossed over from Pakistan.
The top US security official affirmed President Obama’s commitment to “redouble our efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism throughout the world,” Mr Price said.
“Ambassador Rice discussed our shared commitment with India to pursue regional peace and stability and pledged to deepen collaboration on counter-terrorism matters including on UN terrorist designations,” Mr Price added.—Agencies

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