PM Modi Highlights ‘Mainstreaming of Terrorists in Pakistan’ in Bilateral Talks with Mike Pence in Singapore
PM Narendra Modi meets US Vice President Mike Pence in Singapore (Photo: Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a bilateral meeting with the United States Vice President Mike Pence in Singapore on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on Thursday.

Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told a media briefing after the meeting, that the two leaders had a “good” and “very positive” meeting. "There was a sense of convergence both on bilateral issues and on global issues and we look forward to taking the relationship now in the coming months and in 2019," he said.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed to Mike Pence that "India and the United States share the same fundamental values. India has always believed that the world is one family and the first condition for that to happen is peace. You must have noted that India has always contributed in a big way for world peace and India's role is a pro-active one. We would like to work together for world peace, world progress, global economic progress and poverty alleviation which is important for our values.”

The two leaders also discussed the issue of terrorism. The U.S. Vice President referred to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attack on November 26 and hailed cooperation between the two sides on counter terrorism, Gokhale said.

Modi thanked Pence and reminded him that in one way or another all the traces and all the leads in the global terror attacks ultimately leads to a "single source and single place of origin", without naming any country or organisation.

"He (Modi) did point out that the mainstreaming of people involved in the Mumbai attacks in a political process which has taken place in the recent elections in Pakistan should be a matter of serious concern not just to the two countries - India and U.S. - but to international community," Gokhale said, referring to the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's party contesting the July 25 elections in Pakistan.

"There was some good understanding of the areas of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter terrorism and both countries recognised that this is a challenge which we have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the international community," Gokhale said.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that there was a great opportunity for the U.S. in India in making defence equipment and setting up defence industry and offered to import more oil and gas from the U.S.

Modi referred to contributions of the Indian-American community in the economic, cultural and political spheres over the decades and expressed the hope this would be considered when the US “looks at the whole issue of the H1B visa”, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told a media briefing after the meeting.

Acknowledging India's economic progress, Pence said that India is a positive factor in regional and international relations. He recalled Prime Minister Modi's visit to the U.S. and expressed gratitude for his leadership. (With PTI and ANI inputs)