Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Pakistan's official agencies could be involved in Mumbai terror attacks, the US on Friday said "accusations" should not be made without evidence. "I don't think we want to take a view that we make accusations against certain parties without the usual evidences, proofs," Ambassador David C Mulford said when asked whether the US agrees with Singh that Pakistan's official agencies could have had a role in the Mumbai attacks. He said the US was determined to work "non-stop" and "as long as it takes" to ensure that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks are brought to justice. "When Americans are killed anywhere, we pursue those people and that is what we are upto in Pakistan. We will press ahead and we will do it non-stop as long as it takes," he said at an interaction here.
The US has been pressing for deeper understanding in Pakistan of the roots of the problem of terrorism, he said, adding that "(by) learning more and more I hope that we can bring the people who committed this heinous act to book. An important aspect of the US relationship with Pakistan is to see it succeed and not become a failed state, he said.
"Like India, we have a common agenda -- we want to see Pakistan succeed, not fail, not become a serious problem, not become a failed state. That is the American agenda," said Mulford, who has been asked to stay on as the Ambassador here for some more time even after the Obama Administration takes charge.
Mulford referred to the concern expressed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because "it was an attack that appeared to come from Pakistani territory.
"It appeared to have done, monitored and managed on Pakistani territory. It appeared to have been conducted by Pakistani people, who help them train and who appeared to have come from Pakistan.
"For us that is enough to indicate that there is a problem and she made that clear.... She then went to Pakistan and laid that very strong line there."
Following her, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and several other American officials took the same line, both in India and in Pakistan, in a period of eight to nine days, the Ambassador noted.
"And since then the US has been pressing them, as India was, for deeper understanding in Pakistan of the roots of this problem. Learning more and more and I hope that we can bring the people who committed this heinous act to book," he said. "When Americans are killed anywhere, we pursue those people and that is what we are upto in Pakistan. We will press ahead and we will do it non-stop as long as it takes." He said "It is not going to be easy. Our only time is patience and considerable restraint on the one hand and a continuing willingness to try to cooperate." Noting that Pakistan now has a democratically-elected civilian government in place, he said "we wish to support that government and so does India. And we are seeking to assist that government in figuring out.... Frankly, I think it is a pretty good record upto now but it is going to take time."