WASHINGTON: Terrorism is a threat to both Pakistan and India and their cooperation in fighting the menace is helpful to the region, a State Department spokesman said on Friday.
Responding to a question at a regular briefing about cooperation between the two countries, especially in dealing with terrorist incidents, spokesman Mark Toner said that the United States had been very vocal in the past in encouraging greater cooperation between India and Pakistan.
“Clearly, terrorism is a threat to both countries, and so as they can cooperate on these kind of issues, we see it as helpful to the region,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman described the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue, which will take place on Monday, as “very important” and said the US administration looks forward to it. The dialogue is about strengthening security and stability in the region. It also looks at increasing trade and looking at the many different problems and threats in the region, he added when asked about the agenda.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz was due to arrive in Washington this weekend to represent Pakistan at the sixth round of Ministerial level Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington. US Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the US side.
This will be the third annual meeting since the government assumed office in 2013. The six segments of the Strategic Dialogue include cooperation in Economy and Finance; Energy; Education, Science and Technology; Law Enforcement and Counter Terrorism; Security, Strategic Stability and Non-Proliferation and Defence.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the US in October 2015 had provided necessary impetus and direction to the dialogue mechanism. The upcoming meeting will afford an important opportunity to take stock of the entire gamut of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with the United States.