Biden and Modi urge Pakistan to act against extremist attacks

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WASHINGTON DC: US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called on Pakistan to act to ensure that its territory is not used to launch extremist attacks, the White House said in a joint statement.

“They strongly condemned cross-border terrorism, the use of terrorist proxies and called on Pakistan to take immediate action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for launching terrorist attacks,” the White House said.

Relations between nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan have been fraught for years. Since British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent ended in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir.

India has for years accused Pakistan of helping militants who have battled Indian security forces in its part of Kashmir since the late 1980s. Pakistan denies the accusation and says it only provides diplomatic and moral support for Kashmiris seeking self-determination.

The special status given to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked in 2019 when New Delhi split it into two federally controlled territories. Pakistan calls the moves illegal and wants them rolled back.

India’s decision led the two countries to downgrade their diplomatic ties.

“President Biden and Prime Minister Modi reiterated the call for concerted action against all UN-listed terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizb-ul-Mujhahideen,” the joint statement said.

Hafiz Saeed, founder of the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba group, is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed over 160 people over three days, beginning the evening of Nov. 26.

“They (Biden and Modi) called for the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks to be brought to justice,” their joint statement said.

In the 2016 attack on India’s Pathankot air base, seven Indian security personnel were killed.

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