New Delhi: Viewing Lashkar-e-Taiba as a
"threat", the US on Thursday said the terror group is as dangerous
as al Qaeda and Taliban with which it is working closely with
an objective of creating "maximum problems" between India and
US Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard
Holbrooke said his country has raised the issue of ISI
elements having links with terror groups and asked Pakistan to
deny a foothold to LeT in that country.
He emphasised the need for "going to the bottom of"
Mumbai attacks and bringing to justice those behind the
carnage, saying Pakistan has taken "some steps" in this regard
but these were "not enough".
Holbrooke, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here
last evening to give his assessment of the situation in
Afghanistan, said India has a "vitally important role" to play
in the peace and stability in that country and insisted that
the US was not trying to "diminish" that scope.
At the same time, he emphasised that Afghanistan cannot
be stabilised without the participation of Pakistan, which has
"legitimate concerns" in that country.
Interacting with journalists here, he said the LeT was
working in close coordination with al Qaeda and Taliban and
was "equally dangerous" and there was a need for working
together against these outfits.
He said the goal of LeT, responsible for 26/11, was to
create "maximum problems" between India and Pakistan besides
working against the interests of western countries.
"When we talk about major terrorist groups we consider
it as dangerous as other groups," Holbrooke said when it was
suggested that the US did not appear to be keen on tackling
LeT on the same lines as Taliban and al Qaeda.
"We understand, as government, that it (LeT) is a threat
and we talk about it all the time with Pakistani military
(asking them) to deny their territory to this organisation,"
said Holbrooke, who arrived here yesterday after a visit to
The Special Envoy said, "We all know what it (LeT) did
and what they want to do."
He identified LeT as a part of terror conglomerate
comprising Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban and Haqqani
network. "Taliban has almost become a brand," he observed.
"Under intense pressure these groups seem to be growing
closer to each other. Two or three years ago, they were more
distinct than now," Holbrooke said.
He said these groups work more closely and help each
other as their long-term objective is similar -- to hurt
western ideologies and create "maximum problems between India
"Tackling it (LeT) is equal to any other priority in the
region," he said.