US says terror groups in Pak have to be wiped out

Even as US Vice-President-elect Joseph Biden urged India and Pakistan to work together to investigate the Mumbai terror strikes and bring the perpetrators to justice...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad/mumbai | Published:January 10, 2009 1:31 am

Even as US Vice-President-elect Joseph Biden urged India and Pakistan to work together to investigate the Mumbai terror strikes and bring the perpetrators to justice,US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said the US wanted to ensure that the terror groups which carried out the Mumbai attacks were put out of operation as no one would be safe as long as they were tolerated.

During a meeting in Islamabad with President Asif Ali Zardari,Biden said the tensions between India and Pakistan need to be defused through talks for peace in the region. There was no official word on the meeting,but TV news channels quoted Biden as saying that the US appreciated the steps taken so far by Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai incident.

Zardari told Biden that Pakistan is seriously pursuing its own probe into the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan’s stand on the incident is clear and no state institutions were involved in the attacks,he said. Once Pakistan completes its investigation,it will share information with India,Zardari said.

Speaking in Mumbai,Boucher said,“Pakistan has suffered a lot from terror” but “it (Pakistan) is also a place from where these (terror) groups operate”,adding that the country “needs to get rid of all terrorist groups”. “You cannot have one group operating in Kashmir and another in Mumbai”.

“It is legitimate to close down these places and that is what we want to ensure,” Boucher said,when asked if India were to carry out surgical strikes against terror groups across the border. “None of us,including Pakistan,India and the US,are safe as long as terror groups are tolerated,” he said.

On Kasab’s nationality,Boucher said,“I don’t know his nationality myself. I am sure the investigators do… I have talked to FBI guys. We all know that this attack had originated from Pakistani soil. We have to follow the traces of how this was done,trace it back to groups in Pakistan. That is how the investigation needs to proceed. We need to know who these people were,how were they organised and eliminate these groups.”

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