Pakistan pledged to punish, eliminate anti-India terrorists: US
The US appears to have extracted a "pledge" from Pakistan to cooperate fully with Washington and New Delhi to ensure that anti-Indian terrorists groups are punished for their crimes and ultimately eliminated.india Updated: Apr 17, 2010 11:48 IST
The US appears to have extracted a "pledge" from Pakistan to cooperate fully with Washington and New Delhi to ensure that anti-Indian terrorists groups are punished for their crimes and ultimately eliminated.
The US has been "concerned about the presence of extremist groups in countries of South Asia regardless of where they are," State Department spokesman Philip J Crowley told reporters Friday when asked about a UN report's finding that Pakistan's army and its spy agency ISI continue to have links with Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT) and the Taliban.
"This has been a part of our ongoing dialogue with Pakistan," he said noting it came up in the discussions that Secretary of State HillaryClinton had with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani during last week's nuclear security summit.
"And I just simply would say that we emphasise again this is a shared struggle. We believe very strongly in the aggressive steps that Pakistan is taking," Crowley said.
"They have pledged to continue to cooperate fully with the United States and also to cooperate fully with India, both in terms of ongoing investigations, making sure that those who have perpetrated past crimes are brought to justice," he said without naming LeT, blamed for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Crowley also hoped "that together the countries in the region reduce and ultimately eliminate this threat that threatens all of them."
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama had made it clear that India was in no mood to resume its composite dialogue with Pakistan unless the perpetrators of the "horrible" crimes of Mumbai were brought to justice. "That's the minimum we expect from Pakistan," he declared at a press conference here.
The independent UN panel investigating former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto's assassination, has reported that "the Pakistani military organized and supported the Taliban to take control of Afghanistan in 1996," and "Similar tactics were used in Kashmir against India after 1989."
Members of jihadi organizations aided the Taliban effort in Afghanistan at the behest of the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and later cultivated ties with Al-Qaida and Pakistani Taliban groups, it said.
"The Pakistani military and ISI also used and supported some of these groups in the Kashmir insurgency after 1989. The bulk of the anti-Indian activity was and still remains the work of groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has close ties with the ISI," the report noted.
Asked to comment on the UN report, Crowley noted that "Bhutto gave her life in defence of the development of Pakistan's democratic institutions" and said, the US "will continue to work with Pakistan to make sure that we build the institutions of democracy going forward and help them defend them as well."
The US, he said, had encouraged Bhutto's return to Pakistan. "We encouraged Pakistan's return to a civilian government and civilian rule.
"Clearly, tragically, there were failures at a number of levels where she did not have the protection that she deserved and obviously needed," he said. "But I'm not going to comment on the particulars of the report. The report speaks for itself."