A day after suggesting Pakistan to give up ‘selective’ action against terror groups, the National Security Advisor(NSA) of the United States, Gen HR McMaster met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also held talks with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Tuesday.
Gen McMaster came to India after making diplomatic stops in Kabul and Islamabad. His visit to India assumes significance because of at least three reasons: a) The relationship between Indian and Pakistan have hit a new low after the latter’s military awarded death sentence to an innocent Indian citizen and former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan claims that Jadhav is a spy, while India says that he was kidnapped and falsely implicated by the Pakistani military. b) India and US are looking to strengthen further their defense cooperation and ties to fight against terrorism. c) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the US for a bilateral meet with US President Donald Trump in the next few months.
Here we take a loot at what Gen MacMaster told Pakistan and what he talked about with India.
1. Gen McMaster told Afghanistan-based Tolo news on Monday that it was in the interest of Pakistani leaders to go after terror groups “less selectively than they have in the past”. The US official also said that the “best way” for Pakistan to pursue its interest in Afghanistan was by “diplomacy and not through the use of proxies.”
— Gopal Baglay (@MEAIndia) April 18, 2017
2. According to a report by Pakistan-based The News International, Gen McMaster told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Trump administration was committed to a “strong” relationship with Islamabad.
This was the first visit of a top US official to Pakistan on Monday after the new administration led by Donald Trump took oath in January this year.
3. Sharif told Gen McMaster that developments in Pakistan which “fully captured the spirit of a new Pakistan” were acknowledged and appreciated by the international community. Besides, Sharif also said that action against extremism and terrorism in Pakistan had laid the foundation of a “moderate, progressive and democratic Islamic Republic” which was ready to “do business with the US and the world…”
4. In India, the US embassy said in a press statement after the meetings of Gen McMaster with PM Modi and Doval: “The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defense and counter-terrorism cooperation.”
“NSA McMaster emphasized the importance of the US-India strategic relationship and reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner,” it added while noting that the meetings were “productive”.
(With agency inputs)