US asks Pakistan to ensure no more terror attacks

December 9th, 2008 - 10:55 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 9 (IANS) The United States has asked Pakistan to work with all interested parties to make sure that there are no future attacks “emanating from Pakistani soil” like last month’s Mumbai terror assault.Noting “some positive steps” by Islamabad following Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s visit to India and Pakistan, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack Monday said: “We’re going to be following that situation very closely.”

As Rice said on her trip and after her return “what’s important here is that those responsible for the attacks in Mumbai be brought to justice, that they not be allowed to in any way plan further or participate further in any violent actions, any terrorist actions,” he said.

“There needs to be a focus on prevention. What we don’t want to see are future attacks emanating from Pakistani soil,” McCormack said. “And we would urge cooperation among all interested parties to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

Declining to spell out the specific actions taken by Pakistan, the spokesman said he would let the Pakistani government describe for the public exactly what steps they’re taking and what it is that they’ve done.

Asked what specific steps would US like the Pakistanis to take to prevent their soil from being used, McCormack said: “As we ourselves learned through the experience after 9/11, information is key in preventing future terrorist attacks and to breaking up terrorist networks.

“So getting that information and sharing that information so that it can possibly be acted upon to prevent future attacks is critically important,” he said.

“It’s also incumbent upon the Pakistani government to act to prevent any future terrorist attacks, to break up those networks that may be responsible for perpetrating acts of violent extremism,” the US official said.

The Pakistani government understands this, McCormack said, and Rice heard that very clearly during all of her meetings while she was there.

“Because they understand that this is as much a threat to Pakistan as it is to Pakistan’s neighbours or others, including the United States, so they understand how critical it is that they act in this regard,” he said.

Rice, McCormack said, had offered to the Indian government any assistance that they might be willing to accept and listen to any advice that the US might be able to provide on the basis of experience built up since 9/11 and with which it “had some success”.

At the White House spokesperson Dana Perino too taking note of “some positive steps” taken by Pakistan said the US was now continuing to focus on prevention of any “follow-on attacks.”

“What’s critically important now is that we continue to work together - the Indians, the Pakistanis, the United States and our allies - to prevent follow-on attacks after the attacks in Mumbai.”

Asked if the US had credible indications of some follow-on attacks in the making, Perino said: “I wouldn’t say that. I would just tell you that it’s always a concern once you have a terrorist attack.”

“One of the things that you want to learn as quickly as possible is all the information you can get in order to prevent follow-on attacks, because we know that that’s how some of these terrorists plan.”

“And rooting out terrorists is very hard work. It requires a sustained commitment. We’ve seen that in our country,” Perino said.

“It’s going to take a sustained commitment on behalf of the Pakistanis, the Afghanis, and the Indians, and all the other nations working together to root out the evil.”

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