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US working to contain Lashkar

world Updated: Nov 15, 2011 00:32 IST
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A top Pentagon commander has said US forces were working with partners in the South Asian region to contain Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba that threatens India and had carried out 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Admiral Robert Willard, Commander of the US Pacific Command, told reporters in Honolulu, Hawaii, that in South Asia, around India, his forces endeavor was to contain Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"We find ourselves working with partners in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Maldives to build their capacities to deal with this organisation independently," Willard said.

US Pacific Command interacts with Indian armed forces with its jurisdiction starting from India and stretching to entire Asia Pacific region.

Calling India as the most "consequential military in the region" which operates in a fairly challenging neighbourhood, the American commander said: "Our relationship is now strong and growing stronger."

The admiral asserted that American forces will "continue to deal with violent extremism and other transnational challenges. And will continue to build partnerships with India and with other allies and partners overtime."

He made a particular reference to new threat emerging in the region, saying that merchant ships emanating from the Gulf of Aden were now swinging so far to the east that they are entering Pacific Command area of responsibility, in and around India's exclusive economic zone, in the Sri Lankan economic exclusion zone, and that of the Maldives.

He announced that his Pacific command was teaming up with India to address the issue of piracy.