M A I N   N E W S

Mullen to Pak
Pursue cases against LeT

Washington, December 23
The chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, admiral Michael Mullen, has asked Pakistani leaders to prosecute cases against members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group behind the Mumbai terror attacks that killed 179 people.

Admiral Mullen’s visit to Islamabad took place as suspected US missile strikes killed eight people in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border and an Indian official warned that India might take military action if Pakistan failed to bring those responsible for the Mumbai killings to justice.

On the final stop of a trip to greet US troops for the Christmas holiday, the admiral asked Pakistan to shut down terrorist training camps in the country, The Washington Times reported.

Dozens of suspects have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the attacks in Mumbai. None have appeared before any court, however, fueling international concerns about Islamabad’s commitment to fighting extremism.

Admiral Mullen, who met with Pakistani army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani and Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, said he urged them to support judicial efforts to prosecute the cases against members of LeT “fully and transparently.”

India has blamed LeT for the Mumbai attacks and the United Nations Security Council has listed the group and several of its leaders on a terrorist list.

Historically, Pakistani governments have supported militants fighting in Jammu and Kashmir. Even when there has been a crackdown, it has usually been of short duration, the paper said.

The Mumbai attacks have put the government on the spot, however, caught between domestic and international pressures.

“The government will have to move carefully,” said Zahid Hussain, a specialist on militant groups.

“Public opinion is not in favour of a ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawaa. Islamic parties are against the crackdowns. Even the former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Nawaz Sharif is not supportive of the government policies.” — ANI



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