New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) India and the US Tuesday asked Pakistan to take “strong and more concerted” action against terror groups operating from its soil even as American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the $10-million bounty on Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed as unmistakable “solidarity” with New Delhi.
At a joint press conference after her talks with Indian External affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here, Clinton said the US had every reason to believe Saeed was the “principal architect” of the Mumbai terror strikes that claimed 166 people, including six Americans.
“We want to send our unmistakable sense of solidarity with India and to all others, who will not tolerate terrorism and will bring all terrorists to justice,” Clinton said.
The reward, she said, was for any information on Hafiz Saeed that leads to his arrest and conviction for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
“Our rewards for justice programme demonstrates our seriousness” in the fight against terrorists and bringing the perpetrators and planners of the Mumbai attacks to justice. This effort, she said, was not just about the US.
“Combating violence and extremism is one we all agree on and we need to do more. And we look to the government of Pakistan to do more. It needs to make sure its territory is not used as launching terrorist attacks anywhere, including inside Pakistan,” Clinton said.
“Because, the great unfortunate fact is terrorists in Pakistan have killed more than 30,000 Pakistanis. It is very much about the people of Pakistan and their right to go to the market and go to the mosque and live their lives,” she said.
Krishna noted that the recent violent strikes by Taliban on diplomatic missions in and around Kabul had once again highlighted the need for elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in the neighbourhood and “for stronger action from Pakistan” on terrorism, including bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack.
“India and US have a strong cooperation in combating terrorism. In addition to sharing intelligence, we have a counter-terrorism cooperation arrangement and homeland security dialogue. We keep close contact in the fight against terror,” he said.
Clinton noted that terrorism was obviously “incredibly important question” on the minds of both the US and India.
“We both know the tragedies and losses that come with terrorism on our soil. So we have increased our cooperation between India and the US. We are going to continue to do everything we can, not only to prevent terrorists from doing evil acts of violence, but also try to convince people not to get recruited into terrorism.
“Violence is very much of a deadend, literally and figuratively, when it is used to pursue any kind of ideological aims. In democracies like ours, they should be in a market place of ideas. If they have some ideas, they must put it to debate and dialogue in the political process,” she said.
Asked about the terror groups operating out of Pakistan, like the Haqqani group, Clinton said the US and the international community were committed “to going after those who pose a direct threat to the US, Afghanistan and to our allies.”
“We are also cooperating closely with India regarding the threats that emanate against them,” she said.