Pakistan
The petition, which was created on September 21, has been signed by over 110,000 people and is the third most popular petition on the White House website. [Representational Image].IANS

An online White House petition, which was launched by the Indian-American community, demanding that Pakistan be declared a state sponsor of terrorism crossed 100,000 signatures, thereby qualifying for a response from the Barack Obama administration.

The petition, which was created on September 21, has been signed by over 110,000 people and is the third most popular petition on the White House website. The administration is expected to respond to it in the next 60 days.

A petition to halt the construction of the "Dakota Access Pipeline" tops the list with over 210,000 signatures followed by a petition seeking not to make "Kratom a schedule I substance" which has been signed by over 137,000 people, according to local media reports.

Congressman and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism Ted Poe and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced the 'Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act' in the House of Representatives.

"It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is, a state sponsor of terrorism... Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years... From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it's not America's," Poe had said in the House of Representatives over a week ago.

He had added that Pakistan is not an enemy "who simply profess to hate us. These are groups and individuals with American blood on their hands."

"We the People", an online petition started by US President Barack Obama at the White House website, enables American citizens to campaign before the administration on a particular issue.

Meanwhile, the White House said that it was working on enhancing its counter-terrorism capabilities with Pakistan.

"Our focus with Pakistan is to enhance their capability and to deal with terrorist threats on their soil. They are fighting a serious and sustained campaign against violent extremism. We do believe that they are making progress and taking steps to counter terrorist violence, but at the same time we have been very clear that they need to target all terrorist groups, including those that target Pakistan's neighbours, and close all safe havens," White House Deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said.

Toner added that designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism "involves a legal process and assessment" and that the US believes that both India and Pakistan would benefit if relations between them reach normalcy. He further added that the countries should "engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at reducing tensions" to normalise their relations.