By Arun Kumar, IANS,
Washington : Warning Pakistan that the US would not “having people encouraged, directed, trained and sent from Pakistan to attack us,” Washington has told it go after the common enemy of terrorism “hard and fast”.
With the Pakistani American suspected Times Square bomber most likely connected with the Pakistani Taliban group, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CBS Sunday the US has a “very clear” message for Pakistan.
The message, she said is: “This is a threat that we share, we have a common enemy. There is no time to waste in going after that common enemy as hard and fast as we can and we cannot tolerate having people encouraged, directed, trained and sent from Pakistan to attack us.”
Asked if the suspected bomber Faisal Shahzad was connected to a Pakistan-based terrorist group, Clinton said, “There are connections.”
“Exactly what they are, how deep they are, how long they’ve lasted, whether this was an operation encouraged or directed, those are questions that are still in the process of being sorted out,” she said.
“The most likely connection, she said, is to a group called the Pakistani Taliban,” Clinton said repeating what two other top Obama administration officials had said in Sunday talk shows.
Earlier both Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama’s top terrorism adviser John Brennan had told different channels that the ongoing investigation pointed to Shahzad having links to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.
Asked if the US was satisfied with the cooperation it was getting from Pakistan after the Times Square bombing, Clinton said: “I’ve said we’ve gotten more cooperation and it’s been a real sea change in the commitment we’ve seen from the
Pakistani government. We want more; we expect more.”
“We’ve made it very clear that, if, heaven forbid, that an attack like this, if we can trace back to Pakistan, were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences,” Clinton said.
Asked what she meant exactly, she said, “I think I’ll let that speak for itself.”
America’s top diplomat also asserted that some people in the Pakistani government know about the location of top Al Qaeda leaders, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar and the top leadership of the Afghan Taliban.
“I’m not saying that they’re at the highest levels but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill, those who attacked us on 9/11,” Clinton said.
“Assked why the Obama administration is not pressuring Pakistan to give up Osama bin Laden [or] his deputy Ayman al Zawahiri,” Clinton said: “I have to stand up for the efforts the Pakistani government is taking.
“They have done a very significant move toward going after the terrorists within their own country.”
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])