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Pakistan Mainstreaming 26/11 Accused, PM Modi Tells Mike Pence in Singapore

The two leaders, who met in Singapore on Wednesday on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues of mutual interests, including defence and trade cooperation, ways to counter terrorism and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

News18.com

Updated:November 14, 2018, 5:49 PM IST
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Singapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told US Vice President Mike Pence that Pakistan’s act of “mainstreaming the 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused in a political process” should be a matter of great concern to the international community.

The two leaders, who met in Singapore on Wednesday on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues of mutual interests, including defence and trade cooperation, ways to counter terrorism and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As the two discussed the issue of terrorism, Pence referred to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attack and hailed cooperation between the two sides on counter terrorism, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

Modi thanked Pence and reminded him that in one way or another, all the traces in the global terror attacks ultimately leds to a "single source and single place of origin", without naming any country or organisation.

"He (Modi) did point out that the mainstreaming of people involved in the Mumbai attacks in a political process which has taken place in the recent elections in Pakistan should be a matter of serious concern not just to the two countries — India and US — but to international community," Gokhale said, referring to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's party contesting the July 25 elections in Pakistan.

"There was some good understanding of the areas of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter terrorism and both countries recognised that this is a challenge which we have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the international community," Gokhale said.

On bilateral issues, the two sides had brief discussions on trade-related matters. "We agreed that in a new relationship we are building with the US where trade is expanding we need to find ways in which we can help that process to take place," he said.

Modi said in the last two years — since President Donald Trump has assumed office — American exports to India have grown by 50 per cent and it is perhaps one of the countries, perhaps the only one, of the top 10 countries with which the US has a trade deficit where the deficit has actually reduced last year and is on course to further reduce this year, Gokhale said.

"There was a lot of discussions on energy. This is a new sector in Indo-US relations. We have begun importing oil and gas from US worth about USD 4 billion this year. We expressed our readiness to import more oil and gas from US as a way of expanding our trade," he said.

The defence sector was another area of cooperation between the two sides.

Modi said Indians when they come to the US not only bring their talent and capacity to innovate, capacity to excel but also they are imbued in democratic values. "And in that context the Prime Minister therefore expressed the hope that this would be the approach that US might take when it looks at the whole issue of the H-1B visa," Gokhale said.

Pence acknowledged that India had made substantial progress economically as well as diplomatically in regional and international affairs, Gokhale said. Pence felt that India is a positive factor in regional and international relations and said US looks forward to working with India on various issues both on political and economic sides to ensure that "we have a fair rules-based international order", he said. The two sides "agreed that on the international forums, we should on the basis of the shared values build up a possible cooperation in a number of areas".

PM Modi will also attend the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit hosted by Singapore as the current Chair of ASEAN grouping.

As strategic partners, India and ASEAN enjoy close trade and economic relations.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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