WASHINGTON: Pakistan handed over on Wednesday three dossiers to US Secretary of State John Kerry on India’s involvement in subversive activities in the country.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz gave the dossiers to Mr Kerry as he came to the official US guesthouse to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Secretary Kerry was briefed about the destabilising role of Indian agencies in Fata, Balochistan and Karachi. Three separate dossiers containing evidence of the Indian involvement in subversive activities were handed over to the US side by the adviser,” said an official statement issued by the Pakistan Embassy.
The US State Department, however, said it could not confirm or deny receiving the dossiers from Pakistan.
“Have u received those dossiers?” a journalist asked State Department spokesperson John Kirby hours after the Kerry-Sharif meeting. “I am not aware that we have,” he said.
State Department declines to confirm or deny receiving the dossiers
“Can you take the question and confirm or deny it?” the journalist said. “I will take the question but don’t know how much detail we can give.”
“Can u say yes or no?” the journalist asked again. “I said we will take the question,” Mr Kirby said.
In a separate statement, the US State Department said that the two leaders also “discussed the need for additional efforts to target all terrorists in its (Pakistan’s) territory” with the prime minister.
The embassy’s statement, however, phrased it differently, saying that the two sides also discussed the situation of peace and security in the broader region.
“It was agreed that terrorism posed a common challenge to the regional and global security and reaffirmed their resolve to counter this challenge,” the embassy said.
The prime minister informed Secretary Kerry that the ongoing military operation Zarb-i-Azb as well as the National Action Plan were achieving the desired results in improving internal security and eliminating the menace of terrorism from Pakistan, the embassy said.
“It was pointed out that the incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had significantly reduced” and Secretary Kerry “commended the significant gains achieved by Operation Zarb-i-Azb which had “decimated the terrorist organisations in the border region,” it added.
The US statement said that the secretary and the prime minister “highlighted the multi-dimensional nature” of the US-Pakistan partnership and its importance for regional stability and security.
Secretary Kerry praised Prime Minister Sharif for “Pakistan’s regional efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism, especially in bringing to justice Al Qaeda leadership and disrupting terrorist plots,” the State Department said.
Secretary Kerry “recognised Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices in targeting extremists in Zarb-i-Azb and other operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas , and the two leaders discussed the need for additional efforts to target all terrorists in its territory,” it added.
The State Department said the two leaders also discussed President Barack Obama’s recent announcement to keep US troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, noting that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process was “the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability” in Afghanistan and the region.
Secretary Kerry thanked Prime Minister Sharif for Pakistan’s “continued facilitation of reconciliation discussions between the democratically-elected Afghan government and members of the Taliban,” the State Department said.
The embassy said Secretary Kerry “emphasised that Pakistan’s role in taking the reconciliation forward was critical to stabilising Afghanistan. It was further agreed that enhanced coordination amongst the regional countries would be imperative, to address these emerging threats to international peace and security,” it added.
“The prime minister apprised Secretary Kerry of Pakistan’s efforts to improve relations with Afghanistan and reiterated his commitment to seek normalisation with India,” the embassy said.
The State Department said that both leaders agreed to build on the ongoing US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue to advance progress in these and other areas.
The embassy said that the two leaders took stock of recent developments in the relationship and stressed the need for continued high-level engagements on all issues of mutual interest.
The prime minister briefed Secretary Kerry on the important achievements of his government over the past two years, especially in the economy and internal security domain.
Secretary Kerry assured the prime minister of continued US cooperation to further enhance economic engagement between the two countries, including in meeting Pakistan’s energy needs, the embassy said.
Appreciating the commitment of the prime minister to promoting peace and security in the region, Secretary Kerry “reaffirmed US support to work with Pakistan in this shared objective”, said the Pakistani statement.
Informing the US delegation about his peace initiative contained in his statement at a recent session of the UN General Assembly, the prime minister underlined his commitment to contribute towards promoting a peaceful South Asia, the embassy said.
The prime minister was assisted by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif, Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaz Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani.
Secretary Kerry was assisted by senior officials, including Ambassador Richard Olson, Peter Lavoy and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Laurel Miller.
The prime minister had earlier affirmed that Pakistan’s national interests will be prioritised during his upcoming visit to the US.
Earlier in the week, Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar had visited and held meetings with top US intelligence officials discussing strategic issues and counter-terrorism, ahead of the premier’s visit.
Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2015