Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today urged Pakistan to do more to make sure its territory is not used as a launchpad for terrorism, underlining the prickly relationship with a key ally in the war on militancy.
Clinton made the call during a joint news conference with India’s foreign minister. India has repeatedly accused its nuclear-armed rival of dragging its feet on cracking down on militants operating on its soil.
Both Washington and New Delhi have sharply criticized Pakistan for not detaining Hafiz Saeed, who is suspected of masterminding a three-day rampage by gunmen on India’s financial capital, Mumbai, in 2008.
India is furious that Pakistan has not detained Saeed despite handing over evidence against him.
“We look to the government of Pakistan to do more,” Clinton said. “It needs to make sure that its territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks anywhere, including inside of Pakistan because the great unfortunate fact is that terrorists in Pakistan have killed more than 30,000 Pakistanis.”
Suicide bombers attacked a compound housing Westerners in Kabul last week, hours after President Barack Obama signed a security pact during a short visit to a city that remains vulnerable to a resilient insurgency.
“Recent attacks in Kabul highlight once again the need for elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in the neighborhood and the need for stronger action from Pakistan on terrorism, including on bringing to justice the perpetrators of (the) Mumbai terrorist attack,” Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said.
Islamabad and Washington have fallen out over the past year due to a raft of issues, notably American drone strikes on Pakistan from Afghanistan and a unilateral U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
The fact that bin Laden was hiding in a Pakistani garrison town was seized upon by India as proof that Islamabad was dragging its feet on cracking down on militants.