Washington, April 13 (IANS): The United States has asked Pakistan to "transparently and urgently" bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to justice, saying it has a "special responsibility" to do so.
In the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks blamed on Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), "We made very clear that there's an international responsibility to cooperate, to bring the perpetrators to justice," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Tuesday.
"Pakistan has a special responsibility to do so transparently and urgently," he said. "And they pledged their cooperation to bring these perpetrators to justice, and we believe they're going to be - they're carrying that pledge out."
Toner, who was responding to queries about a reported statement by Pakistani-Canadian accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana in a Chicago court that he provided "material support" to the terrorists at the behest of the Pakistan government and its spy agency ISI, declined comment as the matter is sub-judice.
"I'm limited in what I can say. I think some of the remarks you're referring to are from court documents that are related to the trial that's about to begin, so I just would refer you to the Justice Department and just say that he's on trial for his alleged crime."
According to court documents, Rana in his defence had said his "alleged illegal acts of providing material support to terrorists-were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organisation." His trial is set to begin on May 16.
Asked if the US had asked Pakistan government to give a clarification on Rana's allegations, Toner said: "This individual is in a trial right now or the trial hasn't begun, it's a pre-trial period, so I'm not going to talk about his comments. That would be irresponsible and I'm not going to do it."
"But if you're talking about broader counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan, certainly that's ongoing, and we are very candid in sharing our views and sharing information with Pakistan about terrorist threats," he said. "And we believe that cooperation continues to be - that to be good."
Asked if India had asked for access to Rana like co-accused David Coleman Headley, Toner said: "Not that I'm aware of. I don't know"
Asked if US would give access to Rana if India asks for it, he said, "I'll refer you to the Justice Department."