As India and Pakistan resolved to bridge the "trust deficit" by deciding to hold foreign minister-level talks, US today said dialogue was vital for peace but Pakistan needs to do a lot more to combat terror.
Speaking to reporters after paying tributes to the victims of the Mumbai attacks at Marine Drive, US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer said it was also working at the highest level to provide India access to 26/11 accused David Headley.
Maintaining that dialogue was vital to peace and prosperity, Roemer said, "It is for Pakistan and India to talk at their own pace, at their own rate and scope, to decide what they want to talk and how they want to talk to bring peace in India, Pakistan and the region."
It was decided today that External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will visit Islamabad on July 15 for talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Acknowledging Pakistan's contribution to fight against terror, he, however, said Islamabad needs to do a lot more to combat the menace.
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments underscore that while Pakistan has done a lot (to fight terror), they need to do more so that India and United States are safe from the savagery of terrorist attacks," Roemer said.
About granting India access to Headley, he said, "We work together in historic ways on providing access to people like David Headley where the US is cooperating at the highest level to eventually provide access to this person who helped pull off the savagery of the attack on Mumbai on 26/11.
"We have been providing indirect access to sharing intelligence for months about that acquired information and now the door is open. The opportunity is there for India in the weeks ahead to get direct access in the appropriate way and appropriate time to David Headley."
India is one of the most indispensable allies to the United States, Roemer said.
"When we sought access to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, we could not get it," he said, apparently referring to how difficult at times it was to secure access to those accused of involvement in international terror plots.
Seeking to address concerns in India, whom he described as one of the "most indispensable allies", over alleged diversion of US aid to Pakistan to fund terror activities directed against it, Roemer said,"We will ensure that the US aid to Pakistan is used in an appropriate manner."
"President (Barack) Obama requested me that we show respect to the great people of India, to the 18 police officers who gave lives for their country," Roemer said, explaining the reason for his visit to the 26/11 martyrs' memorial, erected outside the Police Gymkhana.
Roemer said two policemen had laid down their lives in the US while protecting those working at the Capitol Hill during an attack.
Pak Needs To Do More To Combat Terror: US
PTI Photo/Shashank Parade
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