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December 22, 2001
1230 IST

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US convinced by evidence
against Jaish, Lashkar

T V Parasuram in Washington

Obviously satisfied by the evidence given by India in the December 13 attack on Parliament by Pakistan-based terrorist organisations - Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Tayiba -- the US has asked Islamabad to take immediate action against the outfits.

The Bush administration has, however, rejected claims that the Pakistan government was involved in the incident.

"Now that there is the evidence, the US is confident Musharraf will act against them," US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

"The Indian government has released certain evidence linking the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, both of which are based in Pakistan, to the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament," he said.

"We do know those groups have committed terrorist acts and they intend to sabotage efforts at Indo-Pakistani reconciliation and to undermine President Musharraf," Boucher said, adding "we know these groups (Jaish and Lashkar) have bases in Pakistan. We know how they operate."

He, however, denied Pakistan government's involvement in the terrorist attacks. "We have not seen anything that would indicate the Pakistani government was somehow behind these attacks."

He said India-Pakistan is an area of continuing concern for the US.

"We remain heavily engaged in this process, trying to work with each of them, and we will stay that way."

Boucher parried questions on President Musharraf calling militants' action in Kashmir as "freedom struggle" but did not mince words in branding both LeT and JeM as terrorist organisations.

He said: "I don't think you can answer a question like that in a very broad and generic sense. I think you have to look at the groups involved and we have made quite clear that these two groups specifically have carried out terrorist acts and we see them as such."

PTI

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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