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Root out all terrorists, US Senate tells Pakistan

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | December 11, 2008 01:02 IST

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The US Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution introduced by Senators Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat and George Voinovich, Ohio Republican -- both members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- condemning the terrorists attacks in Mumbai and applauding India's restraint so far as it investigates the attacks.

The resolution also strongly urged Pakistan to root out all extremist groups that operates on its territory. 

Casey said, "No words can adequately express the sadness resulting from this horrific attacks and my thoughts and prayers go to the victims, their families and people of India."

 "If anyone has forgotten the horrors of international terrorism, the savage attacks in Mumbai are yet another tragic wake-up call," he said, and added: "This enemy, whether it strikes in Mumbai, Jakarta, London [Images] or New York City, is savage and seeks to undermine the progressive and tolerant values that unite nations like India and the United States." 

Casey said it is imperative that the United States "must do more in partnership with our friends and allies to bolster counter-terrorism efforts and stay strong against our enemies".

Voinovich, echoing Casey's sentiments, said, "Our hearts go out to the victims of these barbaric terrorist attacks and their family and friends," and declared, "America is standing with the people of India and our support is strong." 

He said, "These attacks underscore that we are indeed in a war against terrorism with an enemy that is bound and determined to wage war against any that share our values."

 "And, as evident in the terrorist murders of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka in Mumbai, the United States must bolster efforts to develop and implement policies and projects to combat anti-Semitism," he said.

 In this regard, Voinovich asserted that "our vigilance and resolve must remain strong in the face of these enemies, and we will prevail."

 The Casey-Voinovich resolution affirmed that the United States "stands in unison with the people of India in the aftermath of the horrific attacks," and that the United States Government "will provide any assistance the people of India might need."

 It encouraged the Indian Government "to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the attacks," and applauded "India's tone of moderation and restraint in reaction to the attacks".

 The resolution also made clear that it is incumbent upon the Government of Pakistan "to aggressively investigate the possible connection of groups based in Pakistan to the attacks and take appropriate steps necessary to root out all extremist groups operating within its territory."

 It also urged that the US bolster efforts "to develop and implement policies and projects to combat all forms of religious extremism, including anti-Semitism, in order to deter targeted attacks like that waged against the Chabad Lubavitch center in Mumbai."

 The resolution also called on President-elect Barack Obama [Images] to "consider ways in which the US government can expand counter-terrorism cooperation to provide relevant equipment and training to the Indian government."

Meanwhile, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, whose state boasts of a significant Indian- American population in a condolence message said, that on behalf of all Ohioans, "I extend our deepest condolences to those suffering from the senseless acts of terror in Mumbai, and to Ohio's Indian American community, many of whom have family in Mumbai." 

He said, "The Indian people are strong and will reject the inhuman and cowardly acts of terror and intimidation that occurred in Mumbai," and added: "Like India, our diversity has brought the world within our borders. We share a vibrant, multiethnic community and a strong belief in democracy."

 "Together, we are united in our responsibility and stand in solidarity with all those who foster peace and democracy," he said.

 Strickland spoke of how he has "always admired the resilience of the Indian people and know that they will not be deterred by these inhuman acts of terror."

 He reiterated that "Ohio stands united with the people and Government of India, particularly the residents of Mumbai, as you confront the menace of terrorism and violence."






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