‘Lashkar has backing of top Pak officials’
Asserting that his sympathies lay with the Indian people, Democratic Senator John Kerry on Sunday said US President-elect Barack Obama should visit India “very soon”. Amit Baruah reports.delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2008 23:29 IST
Asserting that his sympathies lay with the Indian people, Democratic Senator John Kerry on Sunday said US President-elect Barack Obama should visit India “very soon”.
Kerry said he was satisfied for the responsible manner in which the Government of India had conducted itself after the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai.
Kerry, who will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday before leaving for Islamabad, talked to selected journalists on Sunday.
Pledging to work with Pakistan, the Senator promised to accelerate every possible response to take on the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT)and the Jaish-e-Muhammad.
“There is no more room for the LeT," he underlined, adding the ISI should be made to operate under new marching orders.
The Senator said he had no doubts that the LeT was formed “with the support of people holding official positions in Pakistan", but said he would not elaborate further.
“It has to be a new day (post-Mumbai),” Kerry said, referring to a new, tougher approach to bring groups like LeT to their heels.
Kerry said an Obama presidency would engage in more robust diplomacy when it comes to Pakistan and enlarge the Musharraf-centric policies of the Bush administration
According to Kerry, the South Asian region presented a complex challenge, which would be kept in mind while the new set-up in Washington prepared an aid package for Pakistan.
Praising the Pakistani military for adopting a more aggressive posture close to the Afghan border, Kerry said the new US administration would try to build on this relationship with the Army Chief Parvez Kayani constructively.
Acknowledging that a “misstep” had been taken by the civilian government in Pakistan when it backtracked on its decision to send the ISI chief to India, Kerry maintained that nobody was perfect.
Asked whether the US had information about more terror attacks given that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had repeatedly spoken of preventing more hits, Kerry responded that such attacks were feared.