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Mumbai attackers have links in Pakistan, says Boucher

Lalit K Jha in Washington | January 07, 2009 09:46 IST
Last Updated: January 07, 2009 10:42 IST


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Supporting India's views on involvement of Pakistan-based terror outfits in Mumbai attacks, the US has said those involved in the strikes have links in Islamabad [Images].
    
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher, has said those involved in the
Mumbai terror attacks have links in Pakistan. "I would say it's clear that they had links in Pakistan, that the attackers had links that lead to Pakistani soil," Boucher said in Islamabad on Monday, according to transcripts released by State Department in Washington on Tuesday.
    
"And as far as exactly what those links were and who they were attached to and how they did this, I think that's a
matter that's still under investigation," Boucher told reporters in response to a question.
    
Boucher, who talked with the Pakistani leadership on this issue at length, reiterated that whoever was involved in this, needs to be held responsible. "But I also wouldn't jump to any particular conclusions," he said.
    
"It's important that anybody who was involved in this, in the planning and execution of this act, be brought to justice
and held accountable. I think leaders in Pakistan are determined to do that. They're determined to pursue the investigation. And we'll have to watch as it unfolds to see where it leads," he said.
    
When asked about the evidence given by India to Pakistan on the Mumbai attacks, Boucher refrained from passing any judgment at this stage as the investigations were still on.
    
"I think we're at the stage where people need to share information, follow up leads, and determine everything they
can about what happened," Boucher said.                 

When asked about Pakistan's role in the investigation related to the Mumbai attacks in which several US nationals were
killed, Boucher said: "I think there's a determination here to follow up, find those who are responsible, make sure that we know all we can about how they did it, and even better than that, making sure that they can't ever do it again."
    
Referring to his meetings with the Pakistani leadership, Boucher said: "We talked about how to ensure that, particularly how to ensure the flow of information back and forth so that the pieces of the puzzle that are on the Indian side can be known to the rest of us that are interested, and the pieces of the puzzle that are on the Pakistani side can be known to the Indians who want to get to the bottom of this."
    
Boucher said the US has tried to encourage sharing of information so that everybody who is determined to stop this
kind of attack can conduct their investigations and pursue all possible leads. "So we understand who did it, what happened, how they did it, and how to stop it," he observed.
    
In terms of taking action against the groups in Pakistan that were involved in this, Boucher said: "I think Pakistan
has done quite a bit. I think India's investigation is advancing. So I think more and more information is being known, so let's try to see what we can do in terms of sharing and following up each other's information."

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