In a move against the Haqqani network, the US has slapped financial sanctions against three top Taliban leaders, including Nasiruddin Haqqani, a brother of key Taliban leader Sirajudin Haqqani.
Mumbai terror attacks probe a must for Pak: US
The US wants Pakistan to continue to investigate the Mumbai terror attack and bring to justice those responsible for the carnage, saying these are "must do" things for that country for the benefit of the region as a whole.
State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters in Washington that the US would continue to discuss with Pakistan the need to probe the November 2008 attack that killed over 166.
"There are things, clearly, that Pakistan must do. Certainly, continuing to investigate and bring to justice those who are responsible for the Mumbai attack is an important element," Crowley said.
"It's important to Pakistan. It's also important to India. And we will continue our conversations with Pakistan on the things that it needs to do not only for the
benefit of Pakistan but the region as a whole," he said.
The sanctions announced by the Department of Treasury, besides Nasiruddin also target Gul Agha Ishakzai, a top aide of the outlawed organisation's chief Mullah Omar and Amir Abdullah, former treasurer to senior Taliban leader Mullah Baradar.
The move could be a big setback to Pakistan army which has been cozying up to President Hamid Karzai to involve the Haqqani faction in the proposed new set-up in Afghanistan, post US and NATO withdrawal from the country.
The Treasury Department's step will freeze the assets of these militants, ban their travel and trigger an arms embargo. The action comes after a senior Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee called for sanctions against the Haqqani network.
Together with US sanctions, the new action prohibits any financial transaction of these terror leaders in member countries of the UN, which is likely to put pressure on Pakistan to initiate operation against the group.
"The sanctions placed on the three leaders as terrorists would deprive them of the assets they need to fund the terror operations," said Adam Szubin, Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.
"We will continue to aggressively work to expose and dismantle the financial networks of terrorist groups in support of the President's goal of a stable Afghanistan," Szubin said.