US President Barack Obama on Sunday said that Pakistan “can and must” take more effective action against terrorist groups operating from its soil by “delegitimising, disrupting and dismantling” their networks there.
The US President said that the terror attack on the Indian Airr Force base in Pathankot was “another example of the inexcusable terrorism that India has endured for too long.”
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for reaching out to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif after the attack.
“Both leaders are advancing a dialogue on how to confront violent extremism and terrorism across the region,” Obama told reporters in an interview in Washington.
According to a PTI report, Obama said that Modi shared his enthusiasm for a strong partnership and “we have developed a friendship and close working relationship, including our conversations on the new secure lines between our offices.”
Asked if the relationship has achieved its full potential, the President replied, “Absolutely not.”
On the Pathankot attack, Obama said, “We join India in condemning the attack, saluting the Indians who fought to prevent more loss of life and extending our condolences to the victims and their families.
“Tragedies like this also underscore why the US and India continue to be such close partners in fighting terrorism.”
Obama felt that Sharif had recognised that insecurity in Pakistan was a threat to its own stability and that of the region.
He said, “That is the right policy. Since then, we have seen Pakistan take action against several specific groups. We have also seen continued terrorism inside Pakistan such as the recent attack on the university in north west Pakistan.
“Pakistan has an opportunity to show that it is serious about delegitimising, disrupting and dismantling terrorist networks. In the region and around the world, there must be zero tolerance for safe havens and terrorists must be brought to justice.”