Washington, June 27 (IANS): Noting that India's arrest of terror suspect Abu Jindal has exposed Pakistan's role in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, a US expert has asked Islamabad to take action against all those involved, including serving intelligence officials.
Jindal's alleged confession that "Pakistani intelligence officials were present in the control room from which he directed the attackers is explosive," wrote Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow for South Asia at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
"If true, these accusations will undermine an already shaky US-Pakistan relationship and further tarnish Pakistan's global image," she said noting the US likely assisted India in tracking Jindal and may have even weighed in to pressure the Saudis to deport him to India.
Noting that Islamabad has dragged its feet on investigating and prosecuting 26/11 suspects, Curtis said: "Pakistan must take action against any individuals involved in the Mumbai attacks, even if it means punishing serving intelligence officials...Doing otherwise would only hasten the country's international isolation and slide toward pariah state status."
Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Tuesday reiterated US support for India's efforts to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. "We obviously have long supported and called for the arrest and prosecution and conviction of all of those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, because we lost six of our own," she said.
Nuland said the US also encouraged both India and Pakistan to continue to strengthen and deepen the dialogue that they have with each other. "They've made good progress together in the last 18 months on economic issues, and we're hopeful that that kind of increasing trust can be built on in other areas."