No santions, instead looking for more accountability and justice from Pakistan with respect to terrorism: US State Dept
Washington, September 7: Maintaining that Washington is not looking at sanctioning Pakistan, and has made its concerns clear that Islamabad needs to go after all the terrorist groups operating or seeking safe haven on their soil, the U.S. has asserted that it wants to see accountability and justice in the case of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Speaking at the daily press briefing, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Mark C. Toner said that Washington has long encouraged and pushed for greater counter-terrorism cooperation which includes the sharing of intelligence between India and Pakistan in the Mumbai terror attack.
“We’ve been very clear that we want to see accountability and justice in the case of the Mumbai attacks, and as you noted, there were American citizens who lost their lives in that – those terrible attacks. We’ve long encouraged and pushed for greater counterterrorism cooperation, and that includes the sharing of intelligence between India and Pakistan in that regard,” Toner said.
On being asked if the U.S. is looking at sanctioning Pakistan, Toner replied, “The question was whether we’re looking at sanctioning Pakistan. No. The answer is that we’re working with Pakistan, we’re making our concerns clear that they need to go after all the terrorist groups that are operating or seeking safe haven on their soil.”
On being asked on the former U.S. ambassador to the UN and Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad recent statement that the U.S. should consider taking some kind of sanctions against Pakistan for not taking enough action against these terrorist network , Toner said, “I don’t think we’re even at that point. I mean, we continue to have, as I said, conversations with the highest level of the Government of Pakistan. And our basic point in all of these conversations is that Pakistan must target all militant groups, including those that target Pakistan’s neighbors, and eliminate all safe havens.”
He added that the U.S. has received response from Pakistan that they have assured to do the same.
“We have been encouraged by some of the steps they’ve taken, some of their recent counterterrorism operations along the border of the Afghan – Afghanistan. And we’re going to continue to work with them to increase those efforts and apply more pressure on these groups,” he added.
India has long asked Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to justice but Islamabad has claimed that the evidence provided by New Delhi is not sufficient.
Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, who orchestrated the November 2008, Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed is based in Pakistan.
Though the UN has declared JuD a terror organisation and individually designated Saeed as a terrorist in December 2008, he continues to live freely in Pakistan.