India indispensable ally; Pak needs to do more: US

Declaring India as an indispensable ally, the US on Tuesday said Pakistan needed to do more to prevent terror attacks.

Updated: May 11, 2010, 19:24 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: Declaring India as an indispensable ally, the US on Tuesday said Pakistan needed to do more to prevent terror attacks. US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer also said that the 26/11 Mumbai carnage reminded him of the 9/11 terror attack in New York.

"India is one of the most important allies of the US, and an indispensable one for the US. I want to reinforce our commitment to the US-India strategic co-operation, which is an important pillar of our indispensable partnership," said Roemer.

Roemer said that as part of this co-operation, the US will help India by giving it access to David Headley, the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who has admitted his role in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"We work together in historic ways on providing access to people like David Headley where the US is cooperating at the highest level to eventually provide access to this person who helped pull off the savagery of the attack on Mumbai on 26/11," he said.

"We have been providing indirect access to sharing intelligence for months about that acquired information and now the door is open. The opportunity is there for India in the weeks ahead to get direct access in the appropriate way and appropriate time to David Headley," Roemer said.

The US ambassador stressed that "Pakistan needs to do more to deal with the terrorism originating from its soil".

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s comments underscore that while Pakistan has done a lot (to fight terror), they need to do more," he said.

He also assured that the arms and ammunition provided to Pakistan would be used only for internal purposes.

"We will make sure that these arms are used to counter internal terrorism and conflict. We will ensure that these are not used as a means to attack any other nation," he said.

In his third visit to Mumbai, Roemer recalled how he had visited Mumbai for the first time only seven months after the terror strikes with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mid-2009.

"It was my first act as Ambassador-designate in India. At that time, we chose to stay in the historic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel. It was a deliberate choice to remind the terrorists that despite the carnage they caused, they did not succeed in their efforts to lower our spirits," Roemer said.

The ambassador paid homage at the 26/11 Police Memorial at Police Gymkhana in south Mumbai and interacted with the policemen present there.

"President (Barack) Obama requested me that we show respect to the great people of India, to the 18 police officers who gave lives for their country," Roemer said.

The ambassador said he was reminded of the 9/11 terror attacks that targeted the twin towers of World Trade Centre in New York.

"Back then, we never got any direct access to the mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. We want to ensure India gets access of Headley," Roemer said.

On the scheduled meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in mid-July, he said "it is important that India and Pakistan talk."

-Agencies inputs