India-Pakistan Talks Depend On ‘Islamabad’s Seriousness’ To Counter Terror: US

India-Pak Dialogue: India has made it clear to Pak that talks and terror cannot go hand-in-hand (File)

New York: 

The US would like to see India and Pakistan have a “constructive conversation” leading to better relations, but that would depend on Islamabad cracking down on terrorism, according to a top US diplomat for South Asia.

The Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, said on Thursday that the conditions for talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours hinges on “Pakistan’s seriousness of effort in ensuring that groups don’t take advantage and engage in cross-border infiltration, that there are serious steps to implement the Financial Action Task Force action plan that Pakistan has committed to, and which includes the prosecution of UN-designated terrorists.”

“So whether it’s Hafiz Saeed who currently is in custody and under prosecution, but also chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Masood Azhar, who for long have been able to exploit their presence on Pakistani soil,” it has to take action, she added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan “has been very explicit that that is his intention and his objective” to take these steps, Ms Wells said.

If that happens, “can we then see a reduction in tensions between the two countries and productive engagement between the two?”

She said that President Donald Trump “has a strong relationship with the leaders of both India and Pakistan, and the world would benefit from reduced tensions and increased…

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