US-Pakistan joint statement: concerns for Indian strategic interests

@ The Hindu US-Pakistan joint statement: Indian strategic concerns

Key statements over which objection is raised by India –

1. Hydroelectric projects in PoK/Gilgit-Baltistan

President Obama expressed support for Pakistan’s efforts to secure funding for the Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams to help meet Pakistan’s energy and water needs.

-Proposed dams are located in territory claimed by India.

2. Talks with the Taliban

President Obama commended Pakistan for hosting and facilitating the first public talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in July 2015 and highlighted the opportunity presented by Pakistan’s willingness to facilitate a reconciliation process that would help end insurgent violence in Afghanistan.

  • Open acknowledgement that Pakistan controls the Taliban. And rather than castigate Pakistan for not curbing the Taliban’s violence, these talks will legitimise its actions.

3. Resume India-Pakistan talks

President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif stressed that improvement in Pakistan-India bilateral relations would greatly enhance prospects for lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. The two leaders expressed concern over violence along the Line of Control, and noted their support for confidence-building measures and effective mechanisms that are acceptable to both parties. The leaders emphasized the importance of a sustained and resilient dialogue process between the two neighbors aimed at resolving all outstanding territorial and other disputes, including Kashmir, through peaceful means and working together to address mutual concerns of India and Pakistan regarding terrorism.

– Reference to Kashmir, terrorism and comprehensive dialogue.

4. Action on LeT?

In this context, the Prime Minister apprised the President about Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force.

– US has not raised the obvious violation of the UNSC and FATF requirements earlier this year during the bail process of Lakhvi. Despite Indian representations to the US and UN, there has been little pressure on Pakistan how Lakhvi raised the funds.

5. Nuclear talks

The leaders noted Pakistan’s efforts to improve its strategic trade controls and enhance its engagement with multilateral export control regimes. Recognizing the importance of bilateral engagement in the Security, Strategic Stability and Non-Proliferation Working Group, the two leaders noted that both sides will continue to stay engaged to further build on the ongoing discussions in the working group.

-Pakistan’s track record in proliferation. And when India got this particular deal, it was on the basis of our own impeccable non-proliferation track record.

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