US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is on a three-day visit to India, is reportedly not leaving the country on Wednesday, as was planned. This the second change in plans of the US Secretary of State as earlier today, his visit to 3 religious sites in Delhi was cancelled due to heavy rains. Earlier today, after his trip was cancelled, Kerry spoke to the IIT-Delhi students and stressed on the need for upholding rights of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, language or creed, saying people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of being jailed. His remarks come just days after the US spoke out in support of freedom of expression after Amnesty International was slapped with a sedition charge in Bengaluru.
Kerry also talked about cross-border terrorism and said that it was clear that Pakistan had worked towards clearing the terror sanctuaries and push harder against “indigenous groups” operating from within. He mentioned his talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the issue of taking stronger action against groups such as the LeT.
Both India and the US resolved to build on the 2015 Joint Declaration on Combating Terrorism by expanding their practical cooperation to increase their capacity to address the worldwide terrorist threat. Stating that both sides were developing more joint counter-terrorism exchanges, programmes, and initiatives to deepen the bilateral partnership, it said that both the sides are in support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that strengthens the framework for global cooperation to counter terrorism and reinforces that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.