US denies move to brand Pakistan terrorist state

December 13th, 2008 - 10:03 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 13 (IANS) Denying there was any move to brand Pakistan a terrorist state, the US has said that Islamabad took action against a front operation of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in its own interest.”No. Look, Pakistan did this because it saw it in its interest,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack Friday when asked if the US had sent such a message as suggested by Pakistan Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar.

Pakistan acted against Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front of LeT blamed by India for the Mumbai terror attacks, in accordance with a UN resolution to prevent being declared a terrorist state, Mukhtar told reporters in Islamabad.

The UN branded the Jamaat a terror outfit Wednesday in the wake of the Nov 26 attacks on India’s financial capital.

“As we have said many, many times over, the threat from violent extremists and terrorists in Pakistan is as much a threat to the Pakistani people and the Pakistani Government as it is to anybody else,” McCormack said.

“All that said, it’s a welcome step that they took. This is a day-by-day process and is something that requires vigilance every single day in fighting terrorism,” he added.

Asked if there was any talk at all that Pakistan may be branded as a terrorist state, McCormack said: “No.”

“No,” he repeated as a reporter persisted: “No talk at all?”

Asked if Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would be discussing the UN ban on the Jamaat when she visits New York next week, McCormack said: “I’m sure that she will touch on the issues related to India and Pakistan.”

Rice plans to see British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in New York, he said adding: “And, you know, if they do get together, I’m sure that that topic will come up.”

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