Washington: Noting that India bears the brunt of terrorist attacks by Pakistan linked groups like Indian Mujahideen (IM), the United States has vowed to work closely with New Delhi in the battle against terrorism.
"The battle against extremism and extremist elements that carry out deadly attacks on innocent civilians continues," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Thursday when asked how the US designation of IM will help in the US-led global war on terrorism.
"We`re going to continue to work closely with likeminded nations, such as India," he said noting, "Frankly, India (that) bears the brunt of these terrorist attacks in order to defeat them."
Asked about the basis on which India-based IM has been declared a global terrorist group, Toner said: "When we`re talking about foreign terrorist organization designations, a lot of the material is obviously based on intelligence."
The US believes "that the Indian Mujahideen do have links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e Taiba," he said. But they are also "a very lethal terrorist group in their own right in India."
"They`ve carried out a number of attacks within India`s borders on innocent civilians, and although not confirmed, there`s a suspicion that they were responsible for the recent bombings in Mumbai on July 13th," Toner said.
Asked if the US is helping India combat the threat from IM, he said: "We have a robust strategic dialogue with India. They`re a close ally and partner. And one of the elements of that is close counterterrorism cooperation."
In response to a question on the US stand on Pakistan which has yet to do anything to bring to justice people responsible for the 2008 terror attacks, Toner said: "We work closely with Pakistan on counterterrorism issues as well.
"But this investigation is ongoing, and we`ll continue to work with both governments. It`s not a zero-sum game. In fact, our cooperation with Pakistan helps yield results that bring greater stability to the region," Toner said though he also acknowledged that "it`s not always an easy relationship."