Islamabad: Months after the 2008 Mumbai terror siege, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Pakistan about more Lashkar e-Toiba strikes in India, and underscored the critical importance of Pakistani cooperation in preventing further LeT attacks on Indian soil, a diplomatic cable unveiled by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has revealed.
The US embassy in Islamabad is “instructed to underscore to senior Pakistani government officials the critical importance of Pakistani cooperation in preventing Lashkar e-Toiba (LeT) attacks on India,” Hillary said in a cable sent to the embassy in June 2009.
“There are credible reports of advanced LeT planning for attacks against India. An attack at this time — especially from Pakistani territory — would undermine progress for regional cooperation, divert resources from the military campaign in the west, and could hinder the USG’s ability to provide Pakistan with military and economic assistance without restrictive conditions,” the cable added.
According to the confidential document published by the Dawn, Hillary said that as the 26/11 Mumbai attack has shown, the LeT is “capable of launching attacks that can directly undermine Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and regional stability generally. LeT killed six Americans in the Mumbai attacks. LeT’s activities have directly harmed US interests and have the ability to undermine US-Pakistani relations.”
She noted that the Indian Government has “indicated its willingness to re-engage with Pakistan, but Pakistani progress in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice is critical to laying the foundation for improved relations with Delhi. Another Mumbai-style or major LeT attack on India, especially if launched from Pakistani soil, could close this historic opportunity and could risk a stronger Indian response than that which occurred after Mumbai.”
The United States strongly urges the Pakistan government “to take all steps it can to eliminate LeT permanently, while in the short term taking all possible action to disrupt LeT attack plans and other activities,” said the cable.