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Terror havens not acceptable, Pakistan must punish culprits of 26/11 attack: President Obama

"I recognized India with our first state visit and I came to India early in my presidency," said President Obama.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
January 23, 2015 2:33:56 pm
obama, Obama India, Obama Republic Day “I recognized India with our first state visit and I came to India early in my presidency,” said President Obama.

Ahead of his India visit, US President Barack Obama has said that even as Washington works with Islamabad to meet the threat of terrorism, “safe havens” within Pakistan are “not acceptable” and those behind the Mumbai attacks must face justice.

“As President, I’ve made sure that the US has been unrelenting in our fight against terrorist groups — a fight in which Indians and Americans are united. Indians were tragically killed on 9/11, as were Americans on 26/11. I’ve made it clear that even as the US works with Pakistan to meet the threat of terrorism, safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable and that those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack must face justice,” said Obama in an e-mail interview to India Today published on Friday.

“Like people around the world, Indians and Americans were horrified at the senseless slaughter of so many students and teachers at the school in Peshawar, which was a painful reminder that terrorists threaten us all,” he said.

Read Also: Obama visit: Hope floats after India’s assurance on N-deal

“The emergence of ISIL in Syria and Iraq is another manifestation of the threat I’ve been focused on — the evolving nature of terrorism. Today, the greatest threat comes from al Qaeda affiliates, violent extremist groups and individuals who have succumbed to terrorist ideologies. We saw that again, most recently, with the terrorist attack in Paris. So we’re meeting this threat on many fronts. We’re helping nations go after terrorist groups within their borders, whether on the Arabian Peninsula or North Africa. We’re leading the international coalition to destroy ISIL. We’re working with many nations to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from crossing borders and attacking our citizens,” said Obama.

On his personal relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Obama said: “My personal relationships with other leaders are important because they can help work through the difficult issues that inevitably come up between governments, even among allies and close friends. Prime Minister Modi’s historic election clearly reflects the desire of many Indians for economic growth that is inclusive, a good government that serves citizens, and education that delivers the skills Indians seek. And his remarkable life story — from tea-seller to Prime Minister — is a reflection of the determination of the Indian people to succeed.”

He said that Modi “has a clear vision of the big things” he wants India to achieve. “I’ve been impressed with his energy and his readiness to address many of the barriers that have stood in the way of greater economic growth. In particular, I appreciate the Prime Minister’s eagerness to take the India-US partnership to the next level. On his visit this fall, we agreed to a new joint vision to guide our efforts, and my visit to India is an opportunity to advance that vision,” said Obama.

“We can work together to support PM Modi’s efforts to uplift Indian communities with cleaner air, more water, and more electricity, including under our civil nuclear agreement. We can deepen our security cooperation, including on maritime security in the Asia-Pacific. And I believe that part of being global partners means working together to meet one of the world’s urgent challenges — climate change,” he said.

Obama also reitered America’s support for India’s permanent membership at the UN Security Council. “With our nations and peoples interconnected more than ever, today’s world presents us with both extraordinary opportunities and urgent challenges that no nation can meet alone. That’s why I’m committed to forging a greater partnership with India, both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral organisations. I believe that when our two countries work together, we have a better chance of seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of our time. And even as we expand our cooperation on a bilateral basis, we have to keep working to make sure that multilateral institutions are effective. That’s why I pushed for elevating the role of the G-20 to give emerging economies — including India — a greater voice in global economic decision-making. And it’s why I believe that a reformed United Nations Security Council should include India as a permanent member,” he said.

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