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Terrorism comes naturally to mind when talking about Pakistan: Vikas Swarup

New Delhi: Mentioning that India has always desired resolution of all issues with Pakistan bilaterally through dialogue, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Friday said, New Delhi hoped that the outcome of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to US will convey a clear message to Islamabad that the international community was “deeply concerned about its support to and sponsorship of terrorism”.

He said that terrorism comes naturally to mind when talking about Pakistan and the joint statement, issued by the Pakistan foreign office after Sharif met US President Barack Obama in Washington, devotes considerable space to that particular issue.

Noting that Lashkar-e-Taiba and Haqqani Network have been specifically mentioned in the joint statement for the first time ever, he said, “both are operating out of Pakistan and even the Pakistanis do not deny it. In fact, this is precisely why it is a subject of discussion between President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.”

“Obama has significantly also raised with Sharif concerns about US nationals being held hostage by terrorist groups in that region,” Swarup said.

“You have also read the assurances about these two organisations specifically and terrorism generally by Pakistan. We would naturally hope that they deliver on these commitments,” he further said.

Swarup said that US and India had agreed to jointly work to disrupt entities such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, D-Company and the Haqqani Network.

Noting it is Pakistan “which has chosen to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy”, Swarup further said, “we hope that this visit conveys a clear message to Pakistan that the international community is deeply concerned about its support to and sponsorship of terrorism.”

Answering a query about assistance to projects in Pakistani Kashmir, Swarup said India was opposed to any developmental project in an area which belongs to it but which is under illegal and forcible occupation of Pakistan and had made this clear to all countries.

Answering a query on sale of advanced fighter jets to Pakistan, he said India’s reservation to supply of such was well known.

“I am told that this matter is still to be discussed in the US Congress where many leading figures who understand Pakistan well have questioned its rationale.”

Answering another query, he said India has seen statements of Pakistan’s foreign secretary talking about tactical battlefield weapons that they have developed.

“All that I would say is that given Pakistan’s history of clandestine and illegal activity on the nuclear side, obviously the implications of this assertion by Pakistan foreign secretary will have to be carefully considered,” he said, noting the US-Pakistan joint statement mentions that the two leaders discussed “nuclear terrorism”.

(With inputs from IANS)

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