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Pak must take action against all terror groups:US after Obama- Sharif talks

Barack Obama, Nawaz Sharif

Washington :  The US has made it clear to Pakistan that it must take action against all terror groups without discriminating and also firmly ruled out any role for itself in Indo-Pak peace process unless both the countries jointly ask for it.

The assertion by the US came after President Barack Obama held wide-ranging talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday even as it “categorically ruled out” any kind of negotiations with Islamabad on India-type civil nuclear deal, terming the reports in American media “completely false”.

“We have been very clear with the Pakistani government that in implementing that commitment, Pakistan must take action against all militant groups without discriminating,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said after the talks, welcoming Pakistan’s commitment as part of the national action plan not to discriminate amongst terrorist groups.

In a joint statement issued by the two leaders after their talks at the White Office’s Oval Office, Sharif apprised Obama about Pakistan’s resolve to take “effective action” against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.

After the more than 90-minute meeting, Sharif said his government is committed to take action against terrorists.

“We know what is in our national interest,” he told reporters when asked if he would fulfil his commitment to take action against Pakistan-based LeT.

“It’s our national responsibility to take action against all elements of terrorism. This is part of our National Action Plan,” he said.

Describing Kashmir as “a flashpoint” between India and Pakistan, Sharif said there is a need for a third party mediation to resolve the issue and end stalemate in the Indo-Pak dialogue process.

“(Currently) there are no bilateral talks (between India and Pakistan) on resolving the Kashmir issue. In that scenario there should be a third party meditation on this. If India does not accept a third party role, if there is no bilateral talks then there is a stalemate,” Sharif said.

“This stalemate needs to be addressed,” the Prime Minister said in response to a question.

But a senior US official asserted that the best way to resolve issues is through direct dialogue between the two neighbours.

“President (Barack) Obama and his interlocutors discussed with the Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) and his team the situation in the LoC (Line of Control). Pakistan has often made a request for the United States to be engaged in it,” the Administration official told Indian reporters.

“(During the meeting) we affirmed the US commitment that we would be engaged only if this is something that India and Pakistan would like. This is not any change in any policy of the United States,” he said.

India has rejected any third party intervention to the Kashmir issue and has maintained that all outstanding mattersin the Indo-Pak ties should be resolved bilaterally.

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