M A I N   N E W S

Not enough, do more: US
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 12
Pakistan is feeling an intense pressure from the international community today to do much more than the few steps it has taken to combat terrorist groups operating from its soil, with Washington unambiguously asking Islamabad and its other ‘diplomatic partners’ to contribute to India’s effort to bring to book the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack.

US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, who flew into the Indian capital from Islamabad, held back-to-back meetings with external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, national security adviser M.K. Narayanan and foreign secretary Shiv Shanker Menon, and briefed them on his discussions with the Pakistani leadership.

German interior minister Wolfgang Schauble and Masakazu Toyoda, special envoy of the Japanese Prime Minister, also held meetings with Indian leaders and conveyed their governments’ determination to cooperate with India in firmly dealing with terrorism.

Negroponte, whose visit to New Delhi came just about ten days after secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s tour of the region, is learnt to have told his Indian interlocutors that Washington has asked Islamabad to widen its ongoing crackdown on banned militant outfits to those linked with subversive activities in India, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Negroponte also told them that he had impressed upon the Pakistani leadership that the US would work with both countries to defuse tension in the wake of the Mumbai incidents as long as Islamabad continued to take action against banned terror groups.

In a brief statement to the media after his engagements in the Indian capital, the US official said Washington deplored the terror attack on Mumbai, in which some American citizens too were killed.

“We think it is imperative that these attacks be thoroughly investigated and we think it is also imperative that those responsible for perpetrating these attacks should be brought to account. So the effort at the moment is concentrated on investigating these attacks and bringing those responsible to account,” he underlined.

Negroponte said, “We are cooperating in this effort, obviously the Government of India is in the lead, but all of our diplomatic partners have a responsibility to contribute to this effort.”

The German minister welcomed the steps taken by Pakistan, like banning the Jamaat-ud-Dawa but emphasised that Islamabad ought to do more to root out terrorism.



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