//US can help India tackle militancy in northeast

US can help India tackle militancy in northeast

By Indo Asian News Service

Agartala, May 16 (IANS) The US is ready to assist India to tackle militancy in the country's northeast, Henry V. Jardine, the American consul general in Kolkata, said here Tuesday.

'We shall be happy if we could cooperate with India in dealing with terrorism. Already, the army and other security agencies of the two countries have undertaken several joint exercises in recent years,' Jardine told journalists in the Tripura capital Agartala.

The US envoy, who is on a two-day visit to Tripura, however, said India was able to tackle the menace of terrorism quite well and lauded New Delhi's efforts at opening peace talks with the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Before being posted in Kolkata, Jardine was the US consul general in Bangladesh.

Talking about terrorism in Bangladesh, he said: 'Washington has asked Dhaka to take all possible measures to contain terrorism, including Islamic and political terrorism.'

Jardine said Bangladesh had arrested some leading fundamentalist leaders.

'Though fundamentalism is very much active in that country, but it is on the wane because of certain actions by the present government there,' the US envoy said.

He urged India and Bangladesh to take more efforts to stop human trafficking in the region.

Jardine said the US was keen to work in the socio-economic and environmental sectors as well, including education, energy, agriculture and the fight against AIDS.

'Tripura is a state having immense potential in agriculture and natural gas and there is a good possibility of collaboration in the retail sector and the energy sector.'