Asserting that the US was aware of Indian concerns about the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan, an official of the Obama administration Saturday said it was "very important" for Islamabad to rein in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terrorist group that has "global ambitions" and has been targeting Americans as well.
"It is very important for Pakistan to take on Lashkar-e-Taiba threats, not only for the US but for India and other countries," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake told reporters in New Delhi.
Blake was speaking at a news conference after addressing the Asia Society Corporate Conference in New Delhi.
He said there was growing concern in the US that the LeT, based in Pakistan, has "global ambitions and presence". "It is targeting Americans... I will discuss this with Pakistani (authorities)," said Blake, who will also travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan - his first official trip as assistant secretary.
In Delhi, he will meet Indian and American business representatives and have discussions with his counterparts in the ministry of external affairs to prepare for the US-India strategic dialogue between External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this year.
Blake said he was in India also to prepare the ground for President Barack Obama's visit later this year, "for which I don't have the exact dates".
In Pakistan, he will meet with officials, civil society representatives, religious leaders and business representatives in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.
Blake said that Pakistan has always maintained it won't allow its soil to be used for terror activities. "I hope Pakistan will abide by that commitment."
About New Delhi's concerns that Pakistan was using against India the US arms meant for countering terrorists, Blake said "we are aware of Indian concerns and we had a good dialogue" during Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's visit to Washington earlier this week.
"The military relationship with Pakistan is increasingly changing... We are trying to enhance its (Pakistan's) counter-insurgency capabilities and are trying to give them civilian assistance too."