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Hillary hails Pak intent to fight terror
Says Islamabad needs to dismantle Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jammat-ud-Dawa
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 18
American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today commended the Pakistani government for showing its commitment towards fighting terrorism but went on to qualify her statement saying the neighbouring country’s intent had become more obvious now than in the past six months.

“Based on what we have seen in the last few months, there has been action not just from the (Pakistani) government level but also from the society to fight terror,” Clinton said.

She went on to say that it was too early to predict the consequences of the action. “It is too early to tell the outcome coming from Pakistan.”

Responding to reporters’ queries, Clinton agreed that Pakistan needed to go further by dismantling terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jammat-ud-Dawa. “We believe they have to be rooted out, they must be defeated, they must be dismantled. We say that clearly, we will continue to do so.”

Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Mumbai Friday night, said at the press conference that the Barack Obama government was not applying pressure on the Indian government to re-start talks which were put on hold following the 26/11 terrorist attacks of last year. “The US is very supportive of all efforts in the fight against terrorism. At the same time, we are not going to in any way pressurise to restart dialogue as it is for these two sovereign governments to decide,” she said.

Clinton went on to say that it was up to the Indian government to decide what was good for its people. “We have made it clear that US respects India's decision,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Clinton paid homage to the victims who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. Among those who met Clinton included 13 staff members of the Taj and Oberoi hotels who were injured in the attack. Those who met her included the Taj General Manager Karambir

Kang who lost his wife and children in the terror strike. Clinton, who was staying at the Taj Hotel, said Americans stood in solidarity with India during the 26/11 attacks.

“This hotel in this city suffered grievously and endured painful losses because of the extremists and violence visited on it. “The great men and women who worked in this hotel and elsewhere in the city... helped save lives… they deserve our gratitude,” Clinton said in her tribute. She later signed a remembrance book in memory of those who lost their lives in the attack.

Clinton, who began her day with a breakfast meeting with business leaders at the Taj, later said her interaction was fruitful. Among those who met Clinton included Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Swati Piramal, Sudha Murthy, Chanda Kochhar and Adi Godrej. Discussions also included the problems caused by the economic crisis.

Also on her agenda later in the day includes meetings with teachers and students of St Xavier's College. She is also slated to meet with representatives of the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA).

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