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US warns Pak of severe consequences

world Updated: May 08, 2010 22:59 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Pakistan about the prospect of “severe consequences” if an attack like the abortive car bombing by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad in Times Square last Saturday could be traced back to that country.

While American security and intelligence analysts have, in recent months, spoken of a “dual policy” in Pakistan’s attitude towards terrorism, this was the first time that the US secretary of state also referred to that in public, as she said, “I think that there was a double game going on in the previous years, where we got a lot of lip service but very little produced.”

She did cloak that statement in the past tense and also commended Pakistan for the “killing or capturing of a great number of the leadership of significant terrorist groups.”

Meanwhile, during his daily briefing in Washington, US State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley did not rule out a possible linkage between the Times Square plot and David Coleman Headley. Responding to a question of a possible link, he said: “Well, it could be — there have been multiple plots that have involved the United States and Pakistan, citizens on both sides who have chosen to take these actions. I’m not aware that there’s any specific connection, but clearly, we are looking to see, while this individual was in Pakistan, who he met with, what support, if any, was provided.”

On Thursday, ABC News had reported that Shahzad was a “childhood friend” of a “mastermind” behind the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, without identifying that person.

American analysts have commented that while Pakistan has gone after groups like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or Pakistan Taliban that target that country, there has been softness against other groups that the Pakistan military or intelligence agencies consider its assets, like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba or Jaish-e-Mohammed that have traditionally focused on India or the Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani Network that operate in Afghanistan.