US to ‘watch and help’ Pakistan in Mumbai investigation (Lead)

February 13th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) US Ambassador to India David Mulford Friday said the US will adopt a “watch and help” policy to ensure that Pakistan completes investigations into the Mumbai attack links and prosecutes the accused.
Terming Pakistan’s admission that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched on its soil as “a very important first step”, the ambassador said: “Obviously, it’s the beginning of a process. And they have said what they are going to proceed to do.”

“We will all wait and watch and help to ensure that they do go forward and complete their investigations and prosecutions,” Mulford told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference.

The ambassador said his country’s reaction was on the lines of that of India. “It has been welcome in this country and has been welcomed by the US. We also think that it’s very positive.”

Earlier, delivering a speech on India-US relations in the Obama era, he said: “Pakistan must face reality that this is a problem that originated from its territory.”

On India’s decision to allocate land to Russian and French companies for setting up new nuclear plants, Mulford said: “We are waiting for indication of sites to be given to US companies as has been made available for other countries to set up their plants.”

Mulford was indicating that the US was not happy with American companies not getting any contracts in India, while Russian and French firms were already on their way to set up plants in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

“A few other countries have already been given sites. American industry is restless because of the delay as they are anxious to get going,” he said.

“It’s important that India should also think about how this industrial initiative will help the US economy, which India would like to see recover as it’s one of the engines of growth in the world,” the diplomat added.

Mulford pointed out that the US had taken the lead in ensuring that India re-entered the international civil nuclear trade regime, after being shut out for over three decades.

Talking about cooperation in fighting terrorism, he said: “There is evidence of improving cooperation in counter-terrorism.”

He termed the dossier on the Mumbai attacks as an example of what is being developed jointly between India and the US.

“The US remains firmly committed against mindless and unjustified terror attacks which is cross-border in Asia. It can’t be tackled unless there is global cooperation,” the ambassador said.

On the forthcoming India visit of Richard Holbrooke, US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said the official was coming to have dialogue with Indian leaders.

“I think what he will do is to follow the mandate. He is coming to India to listen and learn,” Mulford said.

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