Washington: Observing that Pakistan itself
has been the chief victim of international terrorism, a top US
official has said it is in interest of Islamabad to crackdown
on terrorist groups operating inside the country.
"The President (Obama) was very clear that Pakistan
itself has been the chief victim of international terrorism.
And so it`s very much in its own interest to crack down on
these groups, which increasingly are operating as a syndicate
and it`s very difficult to really distinguish between them,"
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia,
Robert Blake said here.
"But they`re also operating against American interests,
not just in our homeland, but in places like Afghanistan and
in the Mumbai attacks where six Americans were killed," he
said in response to a question.
Blake argued the US has been clear throughout that it has
welcomed the steps that Pakistan has taken thus far in, places
like the Swat Valley and South Waziristan.
"The President, the Secretary (of State) and others have
been very clear that those actions must continue, and -- for
example, there must be progress in places like North
Waziristan and there must be progress against the Punjab-based
groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which pose a threat, not only
to India, but to Pakistan itself," he said.
Blake said Obama had talked about the importance of
Pakistan and the shared interests that US and India have in a
stable and prosperous Pakistan during his three-day visit to
He said Obama also talked of the need for Pakistan to
take concrete steps to address the terrorism that is emanating
from its soil and to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai
attacks to justice as quickly as possible.