US has told Pakistan to act against LeT: Roemer

May 10th, 2011 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Ahmedabad, May 10 (IANS) The US had told Pakistan that it now needed to act against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said Tuesday while stressing that his government had been building enormous pressure on Islamabad to target terror havens in its territory.

Roemer, who went around Sabarmati Ashram, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi for years, said the US shared India’s “targets and goals” on the LeT, whose leaders have been charged with the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

“We share the targets and goals in terms of the LeT and have communicated to Pakistan that it now needs to act against the LeT as well as individuals,” Roemer told journalists, days after US forces killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan’s Abbottabad town.

On Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani absolving intelligence agency ISI of any wrongdoing, Roemer said President Barack Obama had in the last 48 hours made it clear that the targets that US and India shared in terms of the LeT and individuals being indicted were more and more common.

“The commonalities and goals with regard to world security and intelligence sharing are very close between the US and India,” he added.

The envoy added that his government had been building immense pressure on Pakistan to go after safe havens in their country and target the Al Qaeda.

Refuting that the US was practicing double standards on 9/11 and 26/11, he said Washington and New Delhi had come together to share intelligence in unprecedented ways in the last two years.

“There is vibrant day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute sharing of information. We are sharing information with India on Afghanistan, Africa, did so on security during the Commonwealth Games, World Cup cricket. We even shared David Headley (the alleged LeT operative accused in the 26/11 strike).

“Our president has also supported India for a permanent seat in the UNSC,” he added.

“We are now working under the directions of the US and India to help build capacity here in India, forensic capabilities, the possibility of new national counter terrorism centre, share best practices and expertise as to how to prevent the next terrorist attack.”

The FBI, he said, had helped India convict Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist to be caught after the Nov 26-28, 2008 terror attack. “The FBI’s cooperation on GPS, statistics and data helped convict Ajmal Kasab.”

Roemer evaded questions on whether he would be meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was here to meet common people.

“The president of the US has asked me to connect to the people of India, not just the top brass. Connect to the hearts and minds of the people, the aam aadmi, the regular men and women of India, which is what I am doing.”

He said about 20 percent of Indian Americans in the US come from Gujarat. He added that the state was growing fast with over 10 percent annual growth but evaded a question on when the US would do business with Modi.

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