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Pakistan has special responsibility to bring 26/11 perpetrators to justice urgently: US

April 13, 2011 - Washington

The United States has said that Pakistan has a special responsibility to bring the 2008 Mumbai terror attack perpetrators to justice transparently and urgently.

According to the reports, Pakistan-Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana told a US court under oath that he had provided material support for the 26/11 attacks "at the behest of the Pakistani Government and the ISI", and not the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

When asked during a regular press briefing if the US was concerned about this, Acting Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark C. Toner replied: "This individual is in a trial right now or the trial hasn't begun, it's a pre-trial period, so I'm not going to talk about his comments. That would be irresponsible and I'm not going to do it."

"But if you're talking about broader counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan, certainly that's ongoing, and we are very candid in sharing our views and sharing information with Pakistan about terrorist threats. And we believe that cooperation continues to be - that to be good," he added.

On being pointed out that some in India were apparently reaching the conclusion that Rana's statement added to a mosaic picture of the Pakistan Government's complicity or involvement in the Mumbai attacks, and asked whether the US took those allegations seriously and held a view on that, Toner stressed the need to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.

"I think in the aftermath of these attacks in 2008, we made very clear that there's an international responsibility to cooperate, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and that Pakistan has a special responsibility to do so transparently and urgently. And they pledged their cooperation to bring these perpetrators to justice, and we believe they're going to be - they're carrying that pledge out," he said.

Responding to a question on whether India had asked for access to Rana, Toner said he was not aware of any such development, and referred to the US Justice Department to get details about it.


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