- Obama asks Pakistan to punish Pathankot and Mumbai attacks’ perpetrators
- Says he stands with India against groups like JeM, LeT and network of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim
- US accords India status of ‘major defence partner’; signs several defence agreements with India including information sharing agreements
Treating Pathankot attack at par with 26/11, President Barack Obama on Tuesday sent out a clear message to Pakistan, asking it to punish the attack’s perpetrators amid the US vow to stand with India against terror threats from Pakistan-based groups like Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Dawood “company”.
“They (Obama and Modi) called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice,” a joint statement issued after the Obama-Modi meeting at the White House said.
During the meeting, Modi and Obama acknowledged the continued threat posed to human civilisation by terrorism and condemned the recent terrorist incidents from Paris to Pathankot and from Brussels to Kabul, the statement said.
“They resolved to redouble their efforts, bilaterally and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them,” the statement said.
COOPERATION AGAINST TERRORISTS, SHARING OF INFORMATION:
During the meeting, Obama and Modi committed to strengthening cooperation against terrorist threats from extremist groups, such as “al-Qaeda, Daesh/ISIL, Jaish-e Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D Company and their affiliates, including through deepened collaboration on UN terrorist designations.”
“In this context, they directed their officials to identify specific new areas of collaboration at the next meeting of the US-India counter-terrorism joint working group,” the statement said.
“Recognising an important milestone in the US-India counter-terrorism partnership, the leaders applauded the finalisation of an arrangement to facilitate the sharing of terrorist screening information,” it said.
The agreement opens the doors to exchange of terrorist-screening information between the Multi-Agency Centre/Intelligence Bureau of India and the Terrorist Screening Center of the US, under which the two sides shall “provide each other access to terrorism screening information through the designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations”.
The arrangement will enhance the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries, said a statement.
Modi and Obama also affirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that advances and strengthens the framework for global cooperation and reinforces that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism, the statement said.
‘MAJOR DEFENCE PARTNER’:
In a significant development, the US on Tuesday recognised India as a “major defence partner” which means that for defence related trade and technology transfer, the country will now be treated at par with America’s closest allies.
“Noting that the US-India defence relationship can be an anchor of stability and given the increasingly strengthened cooperation in defence, the United States hereby recognises India as a major defence partner,” said a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with US President Barack Obama.
According to the statement, under the ‘major defence partner’ recognition, the US will continue to work toward facilitating technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.
Meanwhile, the White House also said that the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi resulted in progress on finalising some key defence agreements between India and the US.
“I can tell you that there was important progress on finalising agreements relating to defence logistics, sharing of maritime information, and even the movement of US aircraft carriers in the region,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
SHARING OF TECHNOLOGY:
The joint statement said, “The leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.”
In support of India’s ‘Make In India’ initiative and to support the development of robust defence industries and their integration into the global supply chain, the statement said the US will continue to facilitate the export of goods and technologies, consistent with US law, for projects, programmes and joint ventures in support of official US-India defence cooperation.
Applauding the enhanced military to military cooperation between the two countries especially in joint exercises, training and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Obama and Modi expressed their desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defence cooperation in practical ways.
Officials from the two sides said India and the US have finalised the text of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
It is likely to be signed soon, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.
US, INDIA SIGNING AGREEMENTS LEFT AND RIGHT:
India and the US also finalised text of an information exchange annex under the joint working group on aircraft carrier technology cooperation.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said India and the US have reached an understanding to finalise the framework for the US-India cyber relationship in the near term.
According to the statement, the two leaders committed to enhance cyber collaboration on critical infrastructure, cybercrime and malicious cyber activity by state and non-state actors, capacity building and cyber-security research and development and to continue discussions on all aspects of trade in technology and related services, including market access.
In an apparent reference to the countries which are indulging in large scale cyber hacking, the statement said no country should conduct or knowingly support online activity that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use of it to provide services to the public.
Meanwhile India and the US inked an agreement in the sphere of defence cooperation and counter-terrorism after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.