Terming as a “matter of concern” the fact that Osama bin Laden was found near Islamabad, the US on Wednesday said it would like to go to the bottom of this issue and also ensure that the aid given to Pakistan is used to target Lashker-e-Tayyaba along with Al Qaeda.
Timothy J. Roemer, US ambassador to India, said the American Congress would be taking a “very hard look” and ask “tough” questions as to how terror mastermind and Al Qaeda leader Bin Laden was living in Abottabad, north of Islamabad.
“We are certainly going to see the Capitol Hill (US Congress) take a very hard look at the assistance that we give and we invest in security for Pakistan,” Roemer told reporters here.
Noting that the Congress was going to engage in two very fundamentally important task in the weeks ahead, he said the US lawmakers will look into the selling of military equipment to Pakistan and the presence of Bin Laden in Abottabad.
“One will be as we share or sell certain military equipment to Pakistan. Is that being used in the proper way to take on counter terrorism efforts. We have seen over the past 18 months, Pakistan has stepped up those efforts to target Al Qaeda leadership and degrade that leadership. That is a positive outcome,” he said.
However, he said, “Are they doing enough on LeT? Are they doing enough on Mumbai trials? Are they doing enough on Hafiz Saeed and (Zaki-ur-Rehman) Lakhvi? No, they need to do more.”
He said the other question that will be raised by the US Congress will be with respect to Bin Laden being discovered outside of Islamabad. “We remember Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was discovered inside Rawalpindi back in 2003.
“This is a concern. Congress will ask tough questions and we want to get to the bottom of it. How do we more effectively use that aid to make sure that Pakistan is helping us not only degrade Al Qeada but go after groups like LeT,” he said.
Roemer said the killing of bin Laden showed that theUS was “undeterred” in seeking justice.
He said US President Barack Obama has noted that they would not have been able to kill Bin Laden, had it “not been for some of cooperation” that Pakistan extends to the US, particularly in targeting Al Qaeda leaders.
However, he said, the US knew that Pakistan “needs to do more” and it has been seen “very evidently” from senior level US officials visiting Islamabad telling “very clearly” so.
“We continue to encourage Pakistan to show results on Mumbai trials, to take on LeT as a terrorist group and to make sure that people like Lakhvi stay in prison,” he said.
Roemer said Pakistan “needs to show” progress and results in Mumbai trials and the US wants to see progress, results and justice.
“We also continue to work with our partners in India against groups like LeT and we continue to work in this security partnership on strengthening Indian capacity against terrorist attacks,” he said. Asian Age