Washington, May 29 (ANI): The United States has said that it has been consistently pressing Pakistan to act tough against terror groups flourishing in the Punjab province, such as the banned Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which are obstructing improvement of ties between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake said the Obama administration has been pestering Islamabad to come down hard on the India centric extremist organisations to pave the way for an improved relationship between both South Asian neighbours.
"On Pakistan, I'm sure it will be a topic of discussion at the inaugural US-India strategic dialogue here next week. Those are very important opportunities to try to expand relations and to reduce some of the frictions between these two friends of the United States," he told reporters while responding to a question that what the US is doing to rein in Pakistan to allay India's concerns about cross border terrorism.
"And the United States has consistently called for greater action on the part of Pakistan to stop the activities of these groups," The Nation quoted Blake, as saying.
Blake said that between 2004 and 2007, Pakistan did a considerable work against the terror mechanism, which laid the foundation for a significant improvement in relationship between India and Pakistan.
"So we'd like to see these two friends get back on that same course again. But one of the first things that has to happen is for there to be visible progress in stopping this," he said.
He also pointed out that President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have time and again stressed that these terror groups were operating together as a syndicate. And so it's very much in Pakistan's own interest to take on these groups as well," Blake said.
Highlighting that both India and the US are common threats, Blake said there has been 'unprecedented counterterrorism cooperation' between two countries in the recent past. (ANI)