US presses Pakistan for ‘decisive action against militants on its soil’; China, Islamists top enemy list; India is partner in fight against both

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WASHINGTON : The United States welcomes India’s rise as a “leading global power” and will increase quadrilateral cooperation with it, Japan and Australia, according to President Donald Trump’s new National Security Strategy released on Monday.

The document also underscores the warning to Pakistan, which had appeared in Mr. Trump’s “regional strategy” for Afghanistan earlier his year. “The United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan,” read part of the 55-page document that pertained to South Asia.

“We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials. The United States will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets,” it said, in a reference to the risk of terrorists laying their hands on them.

The strategy, brands China and Russia as main competitors of the United States, calling them “revisionist powers”.

The strategy, which is statutorily mandated, identified three threats to the US — “revisionist powers” China and Russia, “rogue regimes” such as North Korea and Iran, and “transnational terrorist organisations”.

Focusing on South Asia, the strategy document said the United States “continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan”, and that their other big concern was the “prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange”.

Releasing the document, Trump said Pakistan must show “decisive action” on counterterrorism, adding that the United States pays Pakistan a lot of money, and “it must help”.

It added: “The United States will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets.”

“In Pakistan, we will build trade and investment ties as security improves and as Pakistan demonstrates that it will assist the United States in our counterterrorism goals,” the document read.

Turning to India specifically, the document said, “We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner. We will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India.”

While the US, India, Japan and Australia deny it, the quadrilateral cooperation — or just the Quad, as it is called — is aimed at managing China’s rise, which has been seen to be upending rules and regulations of global order, as officials of the four member-countries have said, insisting it’s not about containing China.

The President’s new strategy also stressed that the United States will “expand our defence and security cooperation with India, a Major Defense Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region”.

It added: “We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region.”

About China and Russia, the document said the “revisionist powers” — as they are challenging the status quo and the international order — “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

Orignally published by INP

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