US Categorically Dismisses Statements of 2008 Mumbai Attack Mastermind

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to students, administrators, and civic leaders about US-India relations and foreign affairs during a visit to Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in New Dehli, India, on August 31, 2016, amid a visit to India for a series of bilateral meetings

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Washington, DC – The United States on Wednesday (Sept 7) dismissed the statements attributed to the alleged mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which six Americans were killed.

Hafiz Saeed, who has a bounty of $10 million on his head, made statements accusing the US and India of plotting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and also for working against the Muslim world. Saeed, the Jamaat-Ud-Dawa (JuD) chief was quoted as saying, “The new pact between India and US is against Pakistan, against China-Pak Eco Corridor and in fact it is against the Muslim world.”

Mark Toner, the Deputy Spokesperson told journalists at the daily State Department briefing, “I would dismiss it outright.” Replying to a question from Indian American Times, Toner continued, “We have a strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan, but one that is premised on counterterrorism cooperation and as – as part of that conversation, or that dialogue and that cooperation that we have on counterterrorism issues, we made it very clear that Pakistan can’t pick and choose which terrorist groups it goes after and it has to go after those groups that seek to do harm to its neighbors and may seek refuge on Pakistani soil.”

During a recent visit to India, US Secretary of State John Kerry told journalists in Delhi, “We don’t make distinctions between good and bad terrorists. Terror is terror,” thus reiterating America’s support to India’s demand that Pakistan punish the attackers involved in 26/11 and January’s terror strike on the Pathankot air force base.

Kerry made it clear that the US, “continues to support all efforts to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai and the Pathankot attacks to justice, and we cannot and we will not make distinctions between good and bad terrorists. Terror is terror no matter where it comes from or who carries it out.”

In a recent major development, the US announced successful signing of the Logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (LEMOA) with India as top defense officials of the two major democracies addressed a joint press conference at the Pentagon. LEMOA was signed between US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and his visiting Indian counterpart, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.

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