In a joint statement on June 23, 2023, US President Joe Biden and PM Narendra Modi condemned “terrorism and violent extremism” in all forms and called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory must not be used for launching terror operations.
Both leaders have also asserted that the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the Pathankot attack must be brought to justice. On the same day, PM Modi addressed the US Congress on the issue of terrorism, and there should be no ifs and buts while dealing with terrorism.
“More than two decades after 9/11 and a decade after 26/11 in Mumbai, radicalism and terrorism still remain a pressing danger for the whole world. These ideologies keep taking new forms and identities, but their intentions are the same. Terrorism is an enemy of humanity. We must overcome such forces sponsoring and exporting terror,” Modi said.
Some prominent terrorist groups targeted by the Indo-US Joint Statement are namely, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammed. All these terror organisations are highly active in Jammu and Kashmir.
The two leaders have not only strongly condemned cross-border terrorism but also the use of the proxies of these terror groups to escape sanctions and categorically asked Pakistan to take action against these entities.
The joint statement has three very crucial points. Firstly, the use of drones by the Pakistan-based jihadist elements to drop arms, drugs, ammunition and even the terrorists themselves will be red-flagged. New Delhi and Washington have put pressure on Islamabad to put an end to this activity.
The US and India are working together to combat the misuse of drones. As per intelligence inputs, the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is planning and experimenting with the use of heavy drones to drop terrorists across the borders.
Secondly, both New Delhi and Washington will work together to designate Pakistan-based terrorists under Resolution 1267 of the United Nations Security Council while sharing counter-terror intelligence and enhancing cooperation between the two law enforcement agencies of the two nations.
Thirdly, the most important step will be to improve the strength and standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to combat and tackle terror financing and money laundering. This means that the US is looking forward to putting Pakistan back into the Greylist and even blacklisting it if it fails to take action against the terrorists on its soil. The sword of the FATF is hanging on Islamabad.
Despite the proof provided by India and the US, the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, was arrested briefly in 2008 but then released on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Under pressure from the FATF, he was once again arrested in 2021.
Similarly, the LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed, who was declared and designated as a global terrorist, was never prosecuted for the 26/11 attacks. It was only in 2019 that he was booked by the Pakistan authorities for terror funding and financing.
The same is the case with JeM chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind who orchestrated the Pathankot Terror Attacks and the Pulwama incident in 2019. Under pressure and heat from the international community, the Pakistani government wrote to the Taliban to find him. Once again, the investigation team from Pakistan could not find any evidence and the progress was halted.
The Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has always used its veto power in the UNSC to block proposals from the US and India which aim to clearly designate terror chiefs under the banner of global terrorists.
It has recently blocked the Indo-US joint proposal, which declared Sajid Mir, a global terrorist. China and Pakistan have an all-weather friendship and are iron brothers. It takes advantage of its position as a Permanent Five Member of the UNSC to protect Pakistan from harm.