Ahead Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s state visit to Washington, the US envoy to India has said that expansion of counter-terror cooperation will be a cornerstone of the discussions between the two leaders. Besides, he has asked Pakistan to show ‘action’ by bringing Hafiz Saeed, the alleged 26/11 mastermind, to justice.
“We have experienced 9/11. India has experienced 26/11. We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder, hand in hand and hour by hour in fighting terrorism,” US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“We need to see actions and results from Pakistan. Those seven Mumbai suspects should be brought to justice through the criminal justice system in Pakistan,” Roemer said.
Roemer also said that Washington had been mounting pressure on Islamabad to bring Hafiz Saeed to book and to destruct the terror infrastructure on Pakistani soil.
It should be noted that Manmohan Singh will be leaving Washington for Port of Spain to attend the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) on November 26 – the first anniversary of the horrific Mumbai terror attacks that killed over 166 people including six Americans.
Singh and Obama are expected to talk prominently on expansion of counter-terror cooperation and giving it an institutional framework during their discussions in the White House on Tuesday.
During the visit, a wide-ranging counter-terror deal is expected which would take Indo-US bilateral ties transformed by the nuclear deal to another level by expanding cooperation in various areas like climate change and green technologies to food security and poverty-alleviation.
Roemer said that Counter-terror cooperation would be a key cornerstone of the twenty-first century partnership between India and the US.
Under this, the US would work with India to come up with best information-sharing, technologies and cooperation against groups like the Lashker-e-Taiba and its international associates like Al Qaeda, he said.
With Obama likely to announce a troops surge and firm up his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy soon, the two leaders will also hold wide-ranging discussions on AfPak issues.
“I am certain President Obama and the prime minister are going to have very healthy and robust discussions on AfPak policy,” Roemer said. There will be discussions on Pakistan, he said.