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US tells Pak to get a grip on ISI

world Updated: Aug 03, 2008 19:31 IST
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In a virtual indictment of ISI's involvement in the bombing of Indian embassy in Kabul, the US on Sunday asked Pakistan to get its intelligence network to work towards tackling terrorism that is affecting its neighbourhood.

"Pakistan needs to get everybody lined up in the same direction if they are really going to tackle the terrorist problem," US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who is in Colombo as an Observer at the SAARC Summit, told reporters.

His statement came after US officials vindicated Indian claim of Pakistan's ISI's role in the suicide bombing on the Indian Embassy in Kabul last month.

Boucher, who met Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit, welcomed his assurance to India to probe the Kabul attack.

"Our view is that it is important to have a good intelligence service in Pakistan, but it is also important for that intelligence service to work single-mindedly with other institutions to tackle the terrorist issue that affects so many people in Pakistan and its neighbourhood," he said.

"No society is able to fight terrorism if it is divided. It takes all the institutions administrative, executive (and) intelligence to fight this menace," Boucher said.

The top Bush administration official said the Pakistani leadership was faced with "big challenges" in its endeavour to put its house in order.

Boucher said the US was working very closely with Afghanistan, and cooperating with Pakistan and with India in their fight against the terrorism in all its manifestation.

The US official said cooperation among the nations of the region was the only way to solve these problems.

Boucher said he had a meeting with Gilani in Washington earlier this week and the discussions yesterday were a follow up to the deliberations they had in the US.

Recent US media reports had said that US intelligence agencies had concluded that ISI had helped plan last month's suicide car bomb attack on the Indian mission in Kabul that killed nearly 60 people.

On Bangladesh, he said the US would like to see elections being held as per schedule announced by the caretaker government.

On Sri Lanka, Boucher said the government should investigate human rights abuses in full and ensure pro-government paramilitaries disarm and stop recruiting children.

"We are concerned about reports on intimidation against media, abduction, illegal detentions," Boucher said.

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