Kerry forward agenda

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to India on Tuesday for attending the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue assumes critical significance as he strongly endorsed India’s persistent efforts to clamp down on terror originating from Pakistani soil. His assurance that America will provide all support to India for bringing the perpetrators of both Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks to justice will help the country build pressure on Pakistan once again at international level. His announcement that the US will not make any distinction between good and bad terrorism highlights what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had echoed in almost all the international platforms wherever he spoke since his Government assumed office. Acknowledging India’s concerns about the sharp rise of terror from its backyard and how the sub-continent is fast coming under the wrath of jihadi elements, the US is landing the much-needed fuel for the country’s long war against terrorism. The outgoing Government in the US, showing concern and promise to nail the network of militant activities in India, is a victory for the pro-active diplomatic and political dialogue launched by the Modi Government.
Kerry, accompanied by the Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker also addressed other vital issues like multilateralism and easier visa regime for Indian workers to the US which are equally important for India as the country is trying to carve its niche in major global forums. Further, the US’ decision to exchange terrorist screening information to build a wall against the ever greater soaring of global jihad will be beneficial for India as the country badly needs to master reliable data for fighting the cancer of terror. Simultaneously, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj hammered home the point to Kerry that Pakistan will have to take tough actions against Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and the D-Company. India’s sustained demand for taking stern action against the nefarious jihadi activities fanning all over Pakistan must be treated seriously by the Obama administration. The recent recognition by a special committee of the UN Security Council of the very existence of Mumbai don Dawood Ibrahim who is booked as the most wanted in India, also resolutely supports New Delhi for holding Pakistan responsible for fomenting anti-national activities across the country. Swaraj’s argument that India did not pose any obstacle to having normal ties with Pakistan will go a long way to convince America and the rest of the world that it is the turn of the neighbour for an outright war against the Islamic terror it has been harbouring for decades in its soil. The Islamists who receive State support from Pakistan in turn help creating terror in India through their proxies. Her coming forthright on Pakistan’s spreading of misinformation about India stalling the bilateral talk will ameliorate the confusion brewing out of the current conflict in Jammu & Kashmir. The joint strategic dialogue between the two nations will make our bilateral ties stronger and particularly, this will be critical in raising the alarm bell much louder on the growing threat of the Islamic State which is looming large in the war ravaged countries of the West Asia, now expanding to the rest of the world. It is expected that the new administration in Washington will honour India’s concerns and help the country’s fight against terror.

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