ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday took exception to a joint statement made by the United States and India after the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between them wherein the two countries asked Pakistan to ensure its territory was not used to launch terrorist attacks against another state.
India institutionalized the 2+2 dialogue format with the US, Russia, Japan and Australia in recent years, allowing its foreign and defense ministers to share strategic and security concerns with their counterparts in the four countries.
The latest round of dialogue involving the US state and defense secretaries, Antony J. Blinken and Lloyd J. Austin, and Indian external affairs and defense ministers, S. Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh, took place in Washington DC on April 11.
The dialogue was also preceded by a virtual meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joseph Biden.
“The gratuitous reference in the statement alluding to some non-existent and dismantled entities betrays misplaced counter-terrorism focus of both countries,” the Pakistan foreign office said in its statement. “It is unfortunate that a bilateral cooperation mechanism is being used to target a third country for political expediency and to mislead public opinion away from the real and emerging terrorism threats.”
It noted that Pakistan had remained a major, proactive, reliable and willing partner of the international community in the global fight against terrorism over the last two decades, adding its sacrifices were widely acknowledged by other countries, “including the United States.”
The foreign office maintained that Indian insinuations against Pakistan were part of New Delhi’s efforts to conceal “its state-terrorism and brutal atrocities” in Kashmir.
“Responsible members of the international community must condemn India’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy and the impunity that continues to be associated with it,” the statement continued. “India’s terrorism network using the soil of other countries and through supporting UN-designated terrorist organizations, is on record. Failing to take cognizance of this serious situation is tantamount to abdication of international responsibility.”
It added: “Our concerns and rejection of the unwarranted reference to Pakistan in the US-India Statement have been conveyed to the US side through diplomatic channels.”
The 2+2 ministerial dialogue statement “condemned any use of terrorist proxies and cross-border terrorism” while calling for the “perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and Pathankot attack, to be brought to justice.”
It also called for concerted action against militant entities like Al Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
“The Ministers called on Pakistan to take immediate, sustained, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorist attacks,” it added.
India has frequently accused Pakistan of launching cross-border terrorist attacks, an allegation that governments in Islamabad have strongly denied.