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Terrorists cell still looming in Pakistan: Pallone

The Democrat lawmaker from New Jersey also saluted the spirit displayed by the people of Mumbai and Srinagar.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2006 10:14 IST

Coming down heavily on Pakistan in the wake of Mumbai serial blasts, a top Democrat lawmaker said that Islamabad has failed to live up to its promise to reign in terror outfits, which is threatening the peace process between the Asian neighbours.

Frank Pallone, a House of Representatives member and founder of Caucus on India and Indian Americans, also said Pakistan still lacked appropriate laws to deter terrorist cells from "looming and growing within their borders".

The Democrat lawmaker from New Jersey also saluted the spirit displayed by the people of Mumbai and Srinagar after the "senseless attacks" and expressed hope that India will soon bring to justice perpetrators of the crime.

"Although slow moving, the peace process between India and Pakistan was promising and I'm afraid that Pakistan now stands in the way of further progress," Pallone said in the House of Representatives offering condolences to the families of the victims of the last week's terror attacks.

Terming the attacks as "senseless acts of terrorism and violence", Pallone said Islamabad has "unfortunately" not proven its commitment against terrorism as India and the United States did.

"India has made a strong commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms. Like the US, nothing has deterred their firm policy to fight this regional and global menace. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not proven this same commitment.

"The government still lacks the appropriate law and order that is necessary to deter terrorist cells from looming and growing within their borders," he added. 

Pallone said all the available leads were pointing towards the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the deadly blasts in Mumbai suburban trains, which killed over 200 people and injured over 700, on July 11. 

"All leads are now pointing to the involvement of LeT, a terrorist organisation that has received support from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence. LeT is a group active in the anti-Indian insurgency in Kashmir."

"Although the group is outlawed in Pakistan, it continues to function under other guises. In fact, their leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed enjoys freedom in Pakistan despite this official ban on his organisations," Pallone said.

"Pakistan's failure to rein in terrorist organisations operating within its borders is threatening the peace process. Despite having vowed in 2004 not to allow any part of the territory under its control be used by groups such as LeT, the Pakistan has simply watched while terrorist attacks took place in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country," he said.

Arguing that Pakistan must demonstrate their commitment to the global war on terrorism, he said that Islamabad should live up to its end of the bargain and control the violence.

"Otherwise, it will become exceedingly difficult for India to sustain the peace initiative," the lawmaker argued.

On the resilience displayed by the people of India, he said the people of Mumbai and Jammu and Kashmir have demonstrated very strongly against terrorism.

"My only hope is that these attacks strengthen the resolve of the government of Pakistan in combating Islamic terrorism. Pakistan must not let Islamic extremism undermine the peace process," Pallone said. 

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