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Pak must not distinguish between terror groups: US

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The US today said Pakistan should not distinguish between terror groups like Pak Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba and that it would be satisfied only when perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks are brought to book and justice ensured to the victims.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a two- day visit to India, said Pakistan must adhere to the “standard” set by its army chief General Raheel Sharif through his statements on not differentiating between terrorist organisations like Pak Taliban and LeT.

On the 26/11 attacks, he said India and US were “bound together” in seeking justice to the victims.

“I don’t think anyone would be satisfied until justice is done, no we can’t be satisfied,” Blinken said in an interview to Karan Thapar on India Today news channel.

Talking on a range of issues, Blinken stressed that the US has told Pakistan, “publicly, privately and repeatedly”, that the country should take action against both “inwardly directed and outwardly directed” terror groups who threaten India, US or Afghanistan.

“We are looking to his (Gen Raheel) own standard that there should be no distinction. A terrorist is a terrorist whether it is Pak Taliban, LeT or Haqqani network. It’s a very important statement and should be the basis of collective action,” he said.

Asked about the status of Indo-US cooperation in the nuclear sector, Blinken said that there will be “maximum progress” in sorting out issues concerning the nuclear liability law in the next six months.

He said US companies are looking for “predictability, certainty and transparency” in the area of investment.

“Knowing that there won’t be here for retroactive taxation and having clear dispute redressal mechanisms are important.”

On the threat posed by the Islamic State in the subcontinent, Blinken said that the US was extremely vigilant about the group trying to expand beyond Syria and Iraq. He said the US has observed a “presence” in Afghanistan and some “worrying indication” in Bangladesh in this regard.

“We are and we have to take the threat posed by ISIS seriously,” he said.

Blinken said that the evolution of Indo-US relations was “extraordinary” and a product of the determination of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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