Not just bilateral, regional & global issues also on Modi-Trump platter

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: The India-US strategic partnership will see the two countries focusing on four key objectives this week — peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean, counter-terrorism, free and fair trade, and energy. President
Donald Trump and PM
Narendra Modi will also consider ways to promote regional connectivity based on transparency, responsible debt practices and, importantly for India, without violating sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Beyond attempts to weed out irritants in bilateral ties, regional and international cooperation will be an important focus area for Trump and Modi when they meet on Tuesday. While the US is expected to encourage India to further promote stability and security in
Afghanistan, the Indian side will seek an unambiguous condemnation of cross-border terrorism so as to ensure
Pakistan doesn’t feel further emboldened at a time it is openly claiming credit for the Afghan peace deal.

Pakistani foreign minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi was quoted as having said on Saturday that the peace deal between the US and Afghanistan was a “historic breakthrough’’ and that it would be signed in the presence of Pakistan “because it was impossible for the deal to come through without our efforts’’.

The two countries had declared in 2015, after the Modi-Obama summit, that the India-US partnership could turn into a defining counter-terrorism relationship for the 21st century by deepening collaboration to combat the full spectrum of terrorist threats and “keep their respective homelands and citizens safe from attacks’’. Focusing on cross-border terrorism, the 2015 joint statement had named groups like LeT and JeM and also called on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice.

The India-US joint statement after Modi’s summit with Trump two years later was even more unequivocal in addressing India’s concerns on cross-border terrorism. Modi and Trump then called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory was not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. They also called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai,
Pathankot and other “cross-border terrorist attacks’’ perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.

Whether or not the condemnation of terrorism targeted at India is as unambiguous as in the previous two joint statements will be one of the things to watch out for when the two leaders meet on Tuesday.

Modi and Trump are also expected to take stock of efforts in the recent past announced to prevent terrorist travel and to disrupt global recruitment efforts by expanding intelligence sharing and “operational-level counter-terrorism cooperation’’. The two countries are already working together for exchange of information on known and suspected terrorists for travel screening.

As the joint statement said on the last occasion, India and the US are looking to further strengthen exchange of information on plans, movements and linkages of terrorist groups and their leaders, as well as on raising and moving of funds by terrorist groups.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Unprecedented security measures in place in Delhi for Trump’s visit