October 2006 News

US Asks Pak To Rein In Kashmiri Groups

12 October 2006
The Nation

Islamabad: The US has asked the Pakistani government to use its influence with terrorist groups to completely stop attacks on India, Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Thursday, PTI reported. 'We obviously wish to see no more terrorism emanating from Kashmiri separatist groups,' said Burns. 'We have told the Pakistani government that we would hope that the Pakistani government uses influence with the terrorist groups to curb and stop altogether any attacks on India,' he added. On the evidence, India has shared with the US regarding Pakistan's involvement in the July 11 train bombings in Mumbai, Burns said the State Department was yet to study it in detail. US government officials have sent out a strong message saying India and North Korea cannot be compared as far as the nuclear arena is concerned. The remarks come amid growing concerns over how the North Korean tests could impact the future of the Indo- US nuclear deal, with officials saying the tests should not have any bearing on the vote in the Senate. 'I think everyone knows there is a world of difference between India and North Korea. India is a peaceful, democratic, law-abiding leader of the international community. North Korea is the reverse of all that,' Burns said as he emerged from a think tank meet held to discuss Iran and North Korea's rogue nuclear programmes. 'There is great trust that the commitments the Indian government has made to us will be fulfilled and we are very confident that the India deal will be approved by a substantial margin, at least we hope it will. We would ask the Senate for that type of support'. Moving ahead: 'We understand that the Senate had a very busy calendar at the end of its session in September, and so we are now working with the Senate leadership to see if it would be possible to have a vote in the lame duck session,' Burns said. 'We have been encouraged by the great number of senators, Democrats and Republicans, who have come out to support the agreement. May I also say that we are determined to fulfill the commitments we made to the Indian government'. Only once both wings of Congress approve their independent versions of the bill can they hold a conference to come up with a common draft, which the President can then sign into a law. Lame duck: The US Congress is set for elections in November and there are fears that presidential approval could get pushed further, especially if the Democrats, who are in a minority in the House and Senate, make significant gains. In that case, a lame duck session of outgoing lawmakers might not have the teeth to push this through. Off the record, many officials at least from India have expressed concern that North Korea's tests have provided them the ammunition to stall the implementation process further. Burns also commented on the Mumbai blasts, asking Pakistan to rein in terror groups. 'We issued a statement after the last attacks in Mumbai, saying the US is India's partner in the fight against terrorist groups,' he said. Burns added these comments had been a part of the recent exchanges the US government had with Islamabad, and had been assured that Pakistan will use its influence in the matter.


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