US, India, Pakistan face common terror threat: Holbrooke

February 16th, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanNew Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) US special envoy Richard Holbrooke held talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday and underlined that terrorism poses a “direct threat” to India, Pakistan and the US.

“India, the US and Pakistan all have a common threat now: an enemy which poses a direct threat to our leadership, people and capitals,” Holbrooke told reporters after talks with Mukherjee.

“I carry no messages. I just wanted to hear the views of India on a wide range of issues,” Holbrooke replied when asked about the nature of his discussions with Mukherjee.

Holbrooke, US special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, shared with Mukherjee his assessment of the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the countries he visited before coming to India on the last leg of a regional tour Sunday night.

The Mumbai terror attacks figured prominently in the discussions with India pressing the US to sustain pressure on Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the carnage to justice, official sources said. The two sides also discussed the volatile situation in Afghanistan and ways of combating a resurgent Taliban.

Holbrooke’s visit marks the first high-level contact between India and the US after Barack Obama became president over three weeks ago.

Lauding US Ambassador David Mulford for his role in transforming India-US ties, Holbrooke said he had been fascinated by India since he was a young American growing up in New York.

The US has played a significant role in pressuring Pakistan, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) closely tracking the Mumbai attacks that killed 173 people, including six Americans.

Holbrooke’s trip to India coincided with the disclosure in an American daily that the CIA — by “orchestrating back-channel intelligence exchanges” between the two neighbours — played a key role in Pakistan’s admission that its citizens were involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

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