US declines to say whether it too would act against Lashkar

December 12th, 2008 - 10:22 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 12 (IANS) The United States has declined to indicate whether it too would like the UN take action against Pakistan based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), accused of mounting the Mumbai terror attacks, to preclude “asset flight”.”Clearly, we support the action” the UN Security Council committee, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday. But “in terms of the United States, you know, we don’t foreshadow any particular move that we might take.”

It’s an ongoing 24/7 operation for those in US “who have responsibility for looking at ways to ensure that terrorist groups don’t have access to the kind of funding or resources that they need to operate,” he said

“And we make announcements post facto, and the reason for that is you don’t want to have asset flight. That applies to all of those kinds of operations,” McCormack said.

A UN committee Wednesday banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an LeT front operation and listed four LeT members including alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, for targeted sanctions including asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

Asked if the US like India believes that Pakistan is not doing enough, the spokesman said Pakistan has taken some important steps, but it’s a day-by-day kind of thing.

“Our emphasis has been, in terms of the steps Pakistan has already taken, let’s make sure that everything is done to prevent any future terrorist attacks. And ultimately, people responsible have to be brought to justice, but we’ll continue to work with both parties on this.”

On Pakistan’s reported announcement that it to would ban JuD, McCormack said: “Certainly, that would be a positive step.”

The US had not made “any specific prescriptions” about the persons put under house arrest by Pakistan, he said. “We’ve talked in general terms and in terms of principle about those responsible being held to account and facing justice.”

“The Pakistani Government has acted on what we think are good instincts in terms of going after some of these individuals and extremist groups, and we’ ll see what the next steps are.”

“Ultimately, they’re going to be the decision makers on this, but we can certainly make clear our views as well as others who can make clear their views,” he said.

“Right now, just as a matter of principle, our concern is that any individuals not be able to able to participate in any planning of violent acts, and that inasmuch as one possibly can, learn information that would help prevent future attacks,” McCormack said.

Asked about Pakistan’s stand that extraditing the suspects to India is not an option, he said: “Again, I’m not going to offer any particular options. I think I’ve outlined in principle how we see things.”

At the White House Press spokesperson Dana Perino too described the UN Security Council action as an important one and said “it shows that the international community recognizes the threat of terrorism against all civilised people.”

“And I don’t know what the next step is in terms of what they would do, in terms of follow-up action, but I think that was a symbolic vote, and one of importance for India and for the rest of the world, she said.

On a report that the US had been put on high alert, Perino said: “I don’t think that the Department of Homeland Security has changed the alert level, but obviously we’re always on alert when it comes to helping prevent terrorist attacks in America.”

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