Pakistan Taking 'Aggressive Action' against Terrorists, says US

By Arun Kumar

Washington, May 7 (IANS) As Times Square bombing attempt suspect Faisal Shahzad was linked to terror groups in his homeland, the United States came to the aid of its key ally saying of late Islamabad has been taking "aggressive action" against militants.

"Pakistan has for a number of years been taking aggressive action," State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley told reporters Thursday denying suggestions Pakistan was not taking action against terrorist groups.

Pakistan was doing so as it "came to realise that groups within its borders, even groups that entities from the Pakistani government has had historical relations with, now in fact threaten Pakistan just as much as they threaten other countries in the region and other regions of the world," he said.

Crowley's remark was an obvious reference to Pakistani spy agency ISI's well known ties with militant groups responsible for terror attacks in India.

"I think we are very satisfied with the pace of action that Pakistan has taken over the last couple of years," he said.

"Pakistan itself, you know, will be the first to tell you that it is doing a lot.

"And over time, it will have to do more in order to defeat these groups that threaten the state of Pakistan, threaten

the regional security and obviously pose a risk to the United States as well," Crowley said.

Once the US was able to "understand what kind of support might have been given" to the Times Square suspect Faisal Shahzad "we'll pass that on to Pakistan. And we would hope that Pakistan will take appropriate action in place," he said.

But Crowley refused to entertain a suggestion that "all these terrorists come" from Pakistan. "I'm not going to entertain a question that-that implicates one country, and to suggest that all terrorism in the world is the responsibility of one country. That's not true," he said.

At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs parried questions whether Shahzad 's possible contacts in Pakistan and the role of Pakistan Taliban had come up for discussion during President Barack Obama's meeting with his key aides on the Pakistan Afghnaistan situation.

"I will just say that in the hour and 15 minutes the President spent in that room it was a comprehensive discussion of all of our issues dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

Asked if the US was "pleased or satisfied with Pakistan's cooperation" on the Times Square case investigation so far, Gibbs responded with just a "Yes."

"I think if you look back over the course of 15 or 16 months of our administration, we have dramatically increased our partnership with Pakistan-intense security cooperation, supporting Pakistan's largest offensive against terrorism within its borders in years," he said.

"The offensive that was-is focused not just on Al Qaeda, but on the Pakistani Taliban as well."

Asked if the emergence of North Waziristan as a hotbed of terrorist activity and terrorist training was discussed, Gibbs said: "Suffice to say that many regions in Pakistan have been the focus of our cooperative work with Pakistan, the government of Pakistan for the length of our administration, understanding that we have a threat that continues from that region of the world."

Meanwhile, US Attorney General Eric Holder told a Congressional Committee that if convicted Shahzad faces a potential life sentence.

"Although this car bomb failed to properly detonate, this plot was yet another reminder that terrorists are still plotting to kill Americans," he said.


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Title: Pakistan Taking 'Aggressive Action' against Terrorists, says US

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