From China to Laos: Why was Modi targeting Pakistan, ‘exporter of terror,’ in China and Laos?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a new twist to Islamabad’s trade balance with the world, telling the international community with a straight face that Pakistan’s sole competitive advantage lies in exporting terror.
Mr Modi’s unstinting indictment of Pakistan at two back-to-back multilateral summits has taken many by surprise. His remarks at the G20 summit in China and East Asia Summit in Laos, singling out Pakistan’s “sponsorship and export of terror,” were part of an “offensive defence” strategy designed to put a belligerent Islamabad under stress.
Why has Mr Modi, who started his stint in power by inviting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with other SAARC leaders, for his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi, and followed it up with a surprise trip to Lahore in December last year, has turned up the heat on Islamabad? There is no point in indulging in esoteric speculation; one does not have to look far for reasons for Mr Modi’s vehement Pakistan-bashing. It’s clearly a sense of betrayal and promises not kept.
As he is not going to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this year, PM Modi has leveraged the two multilateral summits to expose Pakistan before the international community and send a strong message to Islamabad that duplicity and deception will not work any longer. Read more…

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A meeting of minds: US backs India against Pakistan-backed terrorism

Marking a meeting of minds on a host of pressing issues, India and the US have decided to step their counter-terror cooperation, with Washington strongly backing India by renewing call to Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks to justice.
The second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between India and the US ended on a high note, with both sides upbeat about the blossoming of bilateral relations in all spheres and underlining their resolve to take this strategic partnership to new heights.
The US’ robust backing on India’s concerns over Pakistan-sponsored terrorism was music to New Delhi’s ears. “The US supports all efforts to brining the perpetrators of the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks to justice… terror is terror no matter where it comes from,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry in New Delhi on August 30, after wide-ranging talks with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The two strategic partners also reiterated their resolve to intensify counter-terror cooperation. They will intensify intelligence sharing and specifically “work for the early operationalization of an agreement on exchanging information on known or suspected terrorists,” said Mrs Swaraj. The two sides also signed a framework agreement on combating cyber crimes.

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India, Pakistan unveil 5-point agenda to improve ties, focus on terror

Terrorism and fast-tracking the trial of the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem accused predictably dominated the talks between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, the first positive meeting between them after more than a year.
Belying the undercurrents of tensions that permeate India-Pakistan relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart shook hands, smiled and posed before hordes of paparazzi in the Russian city of Ufa. The official spin coming out of the much-hyped meeting was that it was held in a cordial atmosphere.
For a change, the meeting was more than just a photo-op meant for the international community which is always concerned about the relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals. The statement read out by foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan conjured up a positive picture of the way forward in a conflicted relationship. “They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues,” they said. “Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menace from South Asia,” they added.
The meeting seemed to have paved for accelerated engagement between the two countries, with Mr Modi accepting the invitation of Mr Sharif to visit Islamabad for the SAARC summit in 2016.

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