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US underplays Pakistan connection to terror

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : As another terror case with Pakistani links emerged, US sought to underplay the connection projecting terrorism as a common threat to “a number of countries around the world, including Pakistan and India and others.”

“We obviously are aware that, you know, we have a threat that we face on an ongoing basis of individuals in this country and elsewhere who wish to do us ill,” State Department Philip J. Crowley told reporters Tuesday

“The same is true of a number of countries around the world, including Pakistan and India and others,” he said when asked to comment on a growing number of cases, including the 26/ 11 Mumbai attacks, where US citizens of Pakistani origin were involved.

“This is a global struggle. We are cooperating, you know, with these countries. Obviously, we have to continue to find ways to detect, you know, these plots before they reach a place like Times Square,” Crowley added.

In March, Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, pleaded guilty to helping plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks. In several other cases too either people with Pakistani backgrounds were involved or had trained in Pakistan.

Asked if Pakistan had changed since 1992 when then President Bill Clinton was about to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, Crowley said: “I’d be very careful about making a broad-brush statement. You know, we value our relationship with Pakistan.”

“We value the fact that there are many Pakistanis who have come to this country, have links to Pakistan and have become citizens of this country. We’re very proud of them. They enrich us as a society.”

“And I think that we all share the same goal here, which is to determine, you know, what’s behind this movement, how people that, you know, may come here to study, come here to live, all of a sudden, you know, take a turn in a dangerous direction,” Crowley said.

“We’re all trying to understand, you know, what this phenomenon is and see what we can do, you know, to prevent it from occurring in the future.”

“We sense the concern, and we’re determined to reduce this threat to the United States and to other countries as best we can,” he said.

At the White House too, spokesman Robert Gibbs referred to the Headley case as a high profile recent terror case, but denied there was any perception of the White House that there has been an increase in attempted attacks during President Barack Obama’s tenure.

“No, I just was listing high-profile cases, and I just added one to that list. I don’t know, in terms of looking at statistics, whether that’s the case or not,” he said about his reference to the Headley case.