US pressing Pak hard on Saeed

US pressing Pak hard on Saeed

LeT and JuD founder should be tried: New envoy to India

US pressing Pak hard on Saeed

The new US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer said that Washington was pressing Islamabad ‘hard’ on bringing to justice the masterminds and perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26 last year.

“All people held in Pakistan in connection with the attacks in Mumbai should be brought to justice,” Roemer told a news-conference on Wednesday.

“We want to bring blood-thirsty perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice, wherever they are. And they include everybody you mention,” said Roemer, when a journalist asked him if the US believed that the evidences India provided Pakistan with were enough to prosecute Saeed.

New Delhi believes that Saeed, who is based in Lahore, is one of the brains behind the 26/11 attacks and the JuD is a front of the outlawed LeT. He was put under house arrest by the Pakistan on December 11 last year after the United Nations in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai included him along with three others and the JuD itself in the list of individuals and organisations known to support Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

He, however, was released by the Lahore High Court on June 3 last. New Delhi said that Islamabad was dilly-dallying with the trial of Saeed, although it was provided with enough evidence against the JuD chief.

The US envoy’s remark on the trial of the 26/11 accused in Pakistan came on a day New Delhi mounted pressure on Islamabad to prosecute Saeed.

“We certainly expect to see some severe actions being taken against him (Saeed) instead of him wandering around freely and preparing to incite more violence against India,” Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told journalists here. He said that India had welcomed the prosecution of some LeT functionaries in Pakistan. “But we don’t believe that is enough,” he added.

Roemer on Wednesday said that the US stood firmly with India against terrorism.  “We cannot forget that six Americans were killed along with dozens of Indians and so many others in that tragic and brutal attack (in Mumbai).”

“We will continue to seek justice for those killed and injured in Mumbai and we will work closely with India to share with you the lessons we learned in the wake of our tragic terror attacks of September 11, 2001,” he said, adding that the US government had invited Home Minister P Chidambaram to visit Washington to boost bilateral cooperation to combat the menace of terrorism.

India is increasingly trying to project the trial of Saeed as an acid test of Pakistan’s sincerity to bring to justice the masterminds of the attack on Mumbai. The same message was delivered to Pakistani High Commissioner in India Shahid Malik when he called on Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Wednesday.

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