Amidst new peace overtures from the Imran Khan government after the re-election of Prime Minister NarendraModi, the White House has made it clear to Pakistan that the onus for sustained peace in South Asia was on it by putting the terror groups out of business.
Khan has written a second letter to Prime Minister Modiafter his re-election, saying that Pakistan wants talks with India to resolveall differences, including on the Kashmir issue.
The Pakistani premier said talks between the two nationswere the only solution to help both countries' people overcome poverty and thatit was important to work together for regional development.
However, India has rejected Pakistan's offer of talks,maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together and said that no bilateralmeeting has been planned between the two premiers on the sidelines of theShanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on June 13and 14.
"What the United States is really looking for in Pakistanare arrests and prosecutions and not allowing these groups to operate and movearound freely, acquire weapons, cross into India, carry out attacks," a seniorWhite House official told PTI this week.
The United States is looking for sustained and irreversiblesteps that shut down their operations, asserted the official who spoke oncondition of anonymity.
"Until these groups are put out of business, it's going tobe very difficult for India and Pakistan to achieve a sustained peace. So theonus is on Pakistan to ensure that they crack down on these groups," said theWhite House official responding to a question on the US assessment of theIndo-Pak tension.
A senior State Department official said that in the wake ofthe Pulwama attack, the US has seen Pakistan taking some initial actionsagainst "designated terrorist organizations" and more steps to enhance counterterrorism financing measures.
"We welcome those steps," the official said.
"We have always agreed that the underlying causes of thetensions between India and Pakistan needed to be addressed. So we certainlyencourage the creation of an environment that will lead to a dialogue," theofficial said.
Paris-based international terror financing watchdog FATF in June last year placed Pakistan onto its watch list in a bid to push the country to halt support for militant groups. In February, the FATF decided to continue the 'Grey' listing of Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of terrorist groups such as the JeM, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). PTI