India sends strong signals to Pakistan over terrorism amid Bajwa’s US visit

With the US hosting Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa amid speculation on revival of high-level security partnership between Washington and Islamabad, India wants the Biden administration to give a strong message to the visiting army chief on terrorism emanating from Pakistan’s soil. While keeping a close watch over the developments in Washington where Bajwa is meeting with the top US officials, New Delhi has delivered Washington a clear message about what it expects from the Biden administration vis-à-vis this visit.
“The US must tell the army chief in no uncertain terms that Pakistan’s action against terror outfits leaves a lot to be desired,” sources, who are working closely with the diplomats in Indian embassy to Washington, told The Daily Guardian. “The Biden administration is already aware of what India wants, for Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister have already apprised their US counterparts of their disappointment over the US’ evident soft corner for Pakistan despite the latter’s terror records,” sources said. “Now that the US government is hosting Bajwa for an almost week-long visit, the Biden administration officials will have sufficient opportunity and time to give him a strong message on terror issues,” says a diplomat.
Bajwa called on US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jacob Suvllivan and discussed matters of mutual interests, a report says. What Indian diplomats are keen to know is whether the US officials discussed the issue of terrorism with the army chief or not, says an official. He will also be meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Indian diplomats are said to be in touch with their US counterparts to have an idea about what is going on there.
Amid Bajwa’s visit to Washington, the statements that came from Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were of great significance.  Addressing a rally at Baramulla, Amit Shah on Wednesday ruled out any talks with Pakistan while making clear that the Narendra Modi government would fully uproot terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.    
Just a day ahead of this rally, Jaishankar said, “No other country practises terrorism in the manner in which Pakistan has done. You show me anywhere in the world what Pakistan has done for so many years against India. After the 26/11 Mumbai attack, it is important for us to be clear to ourselves that this kind of behaviour and action is unacceptable and there will be consequences.” He also said while India is considered “expert in IT” (Information Technology), the neighbouring country is known as an “expert in International Terrorism”.
Sources told TDG that these statements from the top Indian ministers must have served the purpose as a blunt message to the American government amid its efforts to ramp up ties with Pakistan. The Pak Army chief being hosted by the Biden administration lends credence to Washington ignoring Islamabad’s poor record in tackling terrorism, says an official. In another significant development that has come amid Bajwa’s visit to US, Union Home Ministry has designated 10 members of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other proscribed outfits as terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Most of these designated terrorists are presently based in Pakistan, and they have been involved in gruesome killings of innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. Several evidences have recently emerged to establish Pakistan’s army’s connivance with terrorists who were arrested in the valley over the past few weeks. Sources said that the Home Ministry’s move to designate these Pakistan-based individuals as terrorists could not have come at a more appropriate time than this, as Pakistan’s army chief is in Washington and all eyes are on the US to see if the government in Washington even seeks explanation from him on fight against terror. This may be part of India’s strategy to ramp up pressure on the US government to call out Pakistan over terrorism.  

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