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

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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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US Shares List of 20 Terrorist Groups Operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan with Pakistani Authorities

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

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According to media reports, US has shared list of terror groups operating in Pakistan with authorities in Islamabad. Wikimedia

Washington, November 2, 2017 : The White House retains a list of 20 terrorist groups that it claims are operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is believed to have shared this list with Islamabad, the media reported on Thursday.

However, the list was not given to Pakistani authorities by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visited Islamabad last week, diplomatic sources told Dawn news.

The White House list includes three types of militant groups: those who launch attacks into Afghanistan, those who attack targets inside Pakistan and those who are focused on Kashmir.

Top on the list is the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, has safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

Pakistan strongly rejects the charge, saying that there were no such safe havens inside the country.

The US also identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the largest and most active terrorist organisations in South Asia.

The other militant groups in the list include Harakatul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jundullah, Lashkar-i-Jhanghvi and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. (IANS)