Roemer at a news conference at the US embassy in Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)
New Delhi, Nov. 18: The US today said it needed to see results from Pakistan in its action against the 26/11 perpetrators, stepping up the pressure three days before Manmohan Singh leaves for Washington.
We need to see actions and results from Pakistan. Those seven Mumbai suspects should be brought to justice through the criminal justice system in Pakistan, US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said here.
He made a specific mention of Hafiz Saeed, saying the US had been pressing Pakistan to bring the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief to justice and to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is an alleged front of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which India has blamed for the attack.
We have experienced 9/11. India has experienced 26/11. We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder, hand in hand and hour by hour in fighting terrorism, Roemer said.
Prime Minister Singh is scheduled to reach Washington on November 22. On November 26, the first anniversary of attacks that killed over 166 people, including six Americans, he will be leaving the US to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port of Spain.
Expanding counter-terror cooperation is expected to figure prominently in the talks he will hold with President Barack Obama in the White House on November 24. A wide-ranging counter-terror agreement is expected to be the showpiece of the trip.
Roemer stressed the theme today, saying cooperation in the fight against terror would be a key cornerstone of the partnership between the two countries. This will involve sharing information and cooperation against groups like the Lashkar and al Qaida, the envoy said.
The Obama-Singh talks are also expected to touch on the USs Afghanistan-Pakistan policy — often referred to as AfPak by US diplomats — against the backdrop of a planned boost in American troops.
I am certain President Obama and the Prime Minister are going to have very healthy and robust discussions on AfPak policy, Roemer said.
On the nuclear deal, the ambassador expressed the hope that follow-ups to the agreement, including reprocessing rights to spent fuel, would come through soon.
New Delhi has expressed displeasure at the reference to India-Pakistan ties in the joint communique by President Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao yesterday. External affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said a third party role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary.
Asked about the China communique, Roemer denied suggestions it amounted to meddling. I think that is a very positive statement to make. The US and China have only said that they would work for more peace and stability in South Asia, he said.