Approach to 9/11 and 26/11 similar: US envoy

Timothy Roemer asserted that though Pakistan seems willing in its resolve against terrorism, it is not taking enough steps to wipe out the menace.

Last Updated: May 10, 2011, 16:44 PM IST

Ahmedabad: US Ambassador to India Timothy
J Roemer on Tuesday asserted that America was not adopting double
standards while dealing with 26/11 and 9/11, and said that
both the countries have come closer since the attack.

"I respectfully and strongly disagree with you," Roemer
told reporters at the Gandhi Ashram here while answering a
query on whether the US was adopting double standards on the
issue.
"From 9/11 where we lost 3000 people, about 42 Indians,
to 26/11 where scores of Indians were slaughtered by
terrorists, including six Americans who died on that day,
America and India especially over the past two years have come
together to share intelligence, in unprecedented ways,"
Roemer, who is on a day`s visit to the city, said here.

"US also shared David Headley and intelligence
information related to him with agencies in India. We are
working under directions of United States and India to help
built capacity here in India, built forensic capabilities, the
possibility of new national counter terrorism centre, share
best practices and expertise, as to how to prevent the next
terrorist attack," Roemer, who recently resigned from the key
diplomatic post, and is scheduled to leave the country in
June, said.

He further said that the US, through FBI also helped
India in getting Ajmal Kasab convicted for the Mumbai attacks.

"I think that the two countries have come together. They
have also come together in so many other ways, like green
partnerships, helping to addressing poverty, Afghanistan, on
providing food stuff to Africa. US President also pledged his
support for UN security Council seat for India," Roemer said.

"This partnership continues to get closer and closer. It
has a historic trajectory of global partnership to bring
these countries closer in the future too," he added.

On Pakistan, Roemer said that the US has been putting a
great deal of pressure on Pakistan to go after safe heavens in
that country to target al-Qaeda leadership and other terrorist
groups that might threaten Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and
the US homelands.

"Individuals from the US government at the highest levels
have been telling the government of Pakistan that you are a
good partner, you are concentrating more on extremism, in your
country, but you need to do more. You (Pakistan) need to not
only target al-Qaeda, but also target Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET),"
Roemer said.
The outgoing envoy said that the US in the last few weeks
has decided to indict four more individuals with regard to
the Headly case, who is an accused in 26/11 Mumbai attacks and
a case is going on against him in the US.

"(To Know that) One of those men had connections and
support from a certain organisation in Pakistan gives us
great concern," he added, without taking name of one Major
Iqbal who was among the four reportedly charge sheeted by the
US government in connection with the Headley case.

"You can see from those indictments and other activities
that the targets that US and India share in terms of LeT and
individuals being indicted, are more and more common," Roemer
said.

On sharing intelligence with India, the US Ambassador
said that the commonalities and goals with regard to world
security and intelligence sharing were very close between the
US and India.

"I believe that there is very healthy, good, vibrant day
to day, hour to hour and minute to minute intelligence sharing
with the government of India. This occurred both prior to
26/11 and post the event," he said.

He said that the sharing of intelligence has been taking
place during the time of the Common Wealth Games, President
Obama`s visit to India and during the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"This shows shoulder to shoulder cooperation between the
two countries. This cooperation needs to go both ways. This
partnership is strong, global in nature, and security
partnership between the two countries on intelligence post
26/11 is extraordinarily strong," Roemer said.

PTI