The US has welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to take action against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, describing it a very significant development. “This is indeed something very new. And it is very significant that the President (Barack Obama) and the Prime Minister discussed Pakistan’s efforts to take action against LeT and its affiliates,” a senior Obama administration official told Indian reporters.
“We welcome Pakistan’s commitment as part of the National Action Plan not to commit to targeting the complete wide range of terrorist groups in its country,” the official said after the Obama-Sharif meeting at the Oval Office. In a joint statement issued thereafter Pakistan committed itself to taking action against LeT and its affiliates.
“The Prime Minister apprised the President about Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force,” the joint statement said.
According to officials, the issue of action against LeT was raised by none other than Obama himself who pressed Sharif to commit for taking action against this terrorist group, which among others has been responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack.
“This is indeed something very new. We have been discussing our concerns about terrorism of the region with Pakistan, really going back before 9/11. But, certainly since the tragic attack on September 11, against the United States,” the official said.
“These discussions have continued and had counter terrorism co-operation with Pakistan over the years. But I think, we had a significant shift with Pakistan after the tragic attack against the school in Peshawar in December 2014 in which 140 people were killed.” Pakistan subsequently has established a national action plan. Under the authorities of the national action plan Pakistan is taking action against a wide range of terrorist groups inside the country.
Initially, and understandably it targeted terrorist groups that targeted the Pakistani State, the official said. “This is something new and it demonstrates a recognition by Pakistan of the threats these terrorist groups pose to Pakistan and pose to other countries in the region as well as to the United States and other peace loving countries,” said the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.