US asks Pakistan to stop Terrorism
WASHINGTON: 13 Oct, 2006The Bush administration is again leaning on Islamabad to put an end to terrorism directed against India by Kashmiri separatist groups supported by Pakistan. The renewed US pressure was part of recent exchanges between Washington and Islamabad, US undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns indicated on the sidelines of a think-tank meeting in New York. "We obviously wish to see no more terrorism emanating from Kashmiri terrorist groups, and we have told the Pakistani government that we would hope Pakistan will use its influence with these groups to curb and stop altogether any attacks on India," Burns said, adding that the administration had been "assured that Pakistan will use its influence in the matter". 

Burns said the US had not seen in detail the evidence handed over through the American embassy in New Delhi, but the administration had seen the statements of the Indian government. "We believe every country should be able to live free of terrorism, and we have great sympathy for what the Indian people have had to endure with these terrorist attacks." 

Significantly, Burnsí reference to terrorism by Kashmiri groups and Pakistanís influence on them was made suo motu, and suggested Washington does not believe in Islamabadís theory that that the terror attacks in India are solely the result of disaffection of minorities or as a result of the post-Godhra carnage. 

This is the second time in recently weeks that senior administration officials have referred to Pakistan-inspired terrorism (Islamabadís influence on terror groups is the American way of finessing it). The disclosure that Washington has recently taken up the matter with Islamabad means it is putting the heat back on Pakistan after slacking off during the height of the hunt for al-Qaida elements when Islamabadís help was considered crucial. 

The US admonition evidently has had a salutary effect at least for now. Last week, the Pakistani envoy to the US, Mahmud Ali Durrani, acknowledged, perhaps for the first time, that his country had helped the jihad in Kashmir but said it is now trying its best to end it. "Jihad, insurgency or whatever you want to call it in Kashmir... Yes, Pakistan may have helped the jihad at some time, but it was not started by us and now we are trying our best to stop people from crossing," Durrani told a meeting at John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington DC. 

Durrani specifically referred to the Lashkar e-Taiba, the organisation alleged to be behind the Mumbai blasts, describing how even two years ago, it had hundreds and thousands of money collection boxes in the markets of Rawalpindi. ďThat is finished, and Lashkar-e-Taiba does not have the luxury of those funds... and the organisation has been banned,íí he said. While the Bush administration may be impressed by such claims, Indian officials, hardened by previous perfidies by Pakistan, just rolled their eyes.

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