Will take ‘hard look’ on aid to Pakistan: US envoy (Lead)

May 4th, 2011 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Two days after Osama bin Laden was killed near Islamabad, US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer Wednesday said Washington will take a “hard look” at the aid given to Pakistan and asked it to do more to book terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008.

“We are certainly going to see Capitol Hill take a very hard look at the assistance that we give, and we invest in security for Pakistan and quite frankly for India. India has a vested interest in a more prosperous Pakistan,” Roemer told reporters on the sideline of an event here.

Saying Pakistan needed to do more against terrorists, Roemer said in a statement that it had to be seen if Islamabad was using the funds given by the US in a “proper way”.

“Congress is going to engage in I think two very fundamentally important tasks in the weeks ahead. One will be as we share or sell certain military equipment to Pakistan, is that being used in the proper way to take on counter terrorism efforts.

“We have seen over the past 18 months Pakistan has stepped up those efforts to target Al Qaeda leadership and degrade the leadership.

But he asked: “Are they doing enough on Lashkar-e-Taiba? Are they doing enough on Mumbai trials? Are they doing enough on Hafiz Saeed and (Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi? No, they need to do more,” he said.

He said Pakistan needs to show results on the Mumbai trials.

“Senior level visitors from the US going to Islamabad have made very clear that Pakistan needs to do more. They need to show progress and results on the Mumbai trials. That Mumbai attack on 26/11 killed scores of Indians, six Americans, and the US wants to see progress and results and justice.”

Roemer also said Osama’s discovery in Pakistan would also be taken up. The fugitive was killed by US forces in a mansion in Pakistan’s Abbottabad town Sunday night.

“The second part of this will be in respect to bin Laden being discovered outside of Islamabad. We remember Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was discovered inside Rawalpindi back in 2003, this is a concern.

“Congress will ask tough questions and go to the bottom. How do we more effectively use that aid, I am sure Pakistan is helping us not only degrade Al Qaeda, but go after groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba,” he said.

However, the diplomat added: “We had not been able to get Osama bin Laden if it had not been for some of the cooperation that Pakistan extends to the United States”.

Roemer also called India and important ally for strategic and counter terrorism cooperation.

“This is a global partnership on counter terrorism that United States and India are working on very closely on,” he added.

In his statement, Roemer described Osama’s death as proof that the US was determined to defending its citizens and partners.

“First, we are undeterred in our quest for justice; second, we are determined to bring our intelligence and military together to effectively accomplish our goals; and third, we are relentless in defending our citizens at home and our partners like India,” he said.

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