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The discussions on US-India ties post-Uri attack were all centered around the position of the United States in what India has categorically termed as a “strategic attack” on the terror outfits harbored in Pakistan. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: India-China Hold 10th Round of Military Talks For Further Disengagement | What to Expect

For the first time since the Uri attack that killed 18 Indian soldiers, which was followed by the “surgical strikes” conducted by India crossing the LoC, the US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, has said that the US backs India in its war against terror and asked Pakistan not to use its proxies across the border.

In an interview to The Hindu, Richard Verma condemned the Uri attack and said that the US have been toughening its stand on Pakistan as it has shown little progress in cracking down terrorists.

Verma said to The Hindu: “We have also been quite tough on Pakistan, right from the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the NSA, about the need for Pakistan to crack down on its safe, havens, to crack down on the use of proxies to carry out terrorist attacks.” He also added, “We have to stand united and we stand in solidarity with India on that front.”

Verma who abruptly ended his US trip in the wake of the Uri attack and the surgical strikes conducted by India that targeted terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), also said that the Indian intelligence agencies and the US National Security Agency have been in close loop, providing assistance for India in the aftermath of the Uri attack.

When asked if the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had discussed with NSA’s Susan Rice about the launch of the “surgical strikes”, Verma said that the discussions were private in nature but he reiterated the position of the US stating that India did what it thought was necessary to contain the spread of terror. He also added, “I believe the NSAs spoke the day before the action.”

During the conversation, Verma also highlighted the point that the US Military assistance to Pakistan has been cut down to a large scale since 2011. He said that there has been a decrease of 73% since 2011 in the military assistance given to Pakistan by the United States.

Adding to this he also said that the US economic assistance to Pakistan since 2011 is down 54 per cent and more than $300 million of assistance has been withheld. “We have taken steps to protect our interests. The problem of terror is not just a threat to Indians but to Pakistanis too,” he added.

In the meanwhile, Department of State deputy spokesman Mark Toner while addressing a press briefing said that India and Pakistan should engage in more dialogues to resolve issues amicably. He said: “We’re pushing for more dialogue between Pakistan and India, which we believe will help reduce tensions in the region”.

He also reminded that the US has been pushing Pakistan for several years to take conducive action against the terror outfits that have made the south Asian country a safe haven to export terror across the world.

This story originally appeared on The American Bazaar.