Terrorism: India, US differ

As for Pakistan, Washington is bending over backwards not to displease it.

At the G-20 summit in Osaka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again voiced India’s concern in international quarters about the threat of terrorism, and spoken of the need to penalise its backers. But it is unlikely that Mr Modi would have caught America’s ears.

The United States may be deemed to be our key interlocutor in this matter. And yet, in New Delhi earlier this week, US secretary of state Michael Pompeo made it clear that it regards Iran as the leading global sponsor of terror. India, on the other hand, thinks it is Pakistan.

Washington has its reasons. It is tied up closely in West Asia with Iran’s foes — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel. That’s one of the reasons President Donald Trump has pulled out of an international nuclear agreement with Tehran and is now threatening war. India, on the other hand, sees Iran as a useful partner for geostrategic reasons.

As for Pakistan, Washington is bending over backwards not to displease it. How the US is able to exit Afghanistan (and keeping its honour intact) is closely linked to whether Islamabad allows the Taliban to engage in any meaningful conversation with it. Pakistan’s use for Washington is obvious.While America, on the whole, is trying to keep on the right side of Pakistan on account of the Taliban question, China, Russia and Iran are also doing the same. None of these countries wants Taliban-induced terrorism to haunt them since each is in the neighbourhood. The overall circumstances suggest that India will be required to do its own heavy lifting in tackling Pakistan-based terrorism. Others may just be expected to make the appropriate noises.

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