Pentagon expresses concern over increasing LeT activity

Top Pentagon officials have expressed strong concern over the increasing influence of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and surrounding regions.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 10:55 AM IST

Washington: Top Pentagon officials have
expressed strong concern over the increasing influence of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, in South Asia and the its damaging potential to bring India and
Pakistan on the verge of war through a terrorist activity.

"We`re very concerned about that interaction that LeT
is having on India and the effect, the compression effect that
you have between two nuclear powers when there is an attack
into India from LeT," Major General Randolph Alles Director,
J-5, Strategic Planning and Policy, US Pacific Command, said
in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

"We`re concerned, as we look at the South Asia region,
with the LeT, or the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, which
emanates out of Pakistan but has a presence in India and Nepal and Bangladesh. The LeT is responsible for the Mumbai attacks, there so many people lost their lives," he said.
The Pentagon, he said, is attempting to address that by focusing not only in India but also in Bangladesh and
Nepal, to assure that they work on facilitation networks, and
more importantly how they address building the capacity of its
partners to, in fact, address those internal issues so that
they can secure their borders, so that they have developed
networks for intelligence; they can develop intelligence on
things that might be occurring inside of their country, and
then also law enforcement and actual counterterrorism
operations.

At another Congressional hearing convened by the
Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Claire McCaskill,
wanted to know from Gen David Patraeus, Commander of the US
and NATO forces in Afghanistan, about the LeT operations in
South Asia.
"I am anxious to get some kind of briefing from you
for the record on LeT, especially in light of the instability
of the Pakistani government right now and some of the issues
we`re having with incidents that have occurred in Pakistan and
how the Pakistan government is responding to those," McCaskill
said.

"I worry that we`re honing in and doing what we need
to do with Al Qaida. We are honing in and doing what we need
to do with the Taliban. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and LeT
obviously has got a great deal of power, it appears, with
certain people in the Pakistani government," the Senator said.

PTI