A top U.S. Senator has said that former Pakistan president Pervez > Musharraf’s admission that Pakistan aided and trained terror groups like LeT is “not surprising” and the link between the 26/11 attackers and some elements in the Pakistani government cannot be credibly denied.
“I am not surprised...I think that the evidence about ties between some aspects of the Pakistani government with LeT in connection with the attack in Mumbai in 2008 is pretty hard to deny,” said Senator Tim Kaine, an influential Democratic Senator in the two power Senate committees of foreign relations and armed service.
“When you get into the intel (intelligence information) and explore, you get the questions how high the ties were and how officially they were sanctioned. But there were definitely ties (between Pakistani government and LeT),” said Kaine who visited the 26/11 terror attack sites in Mumbai last October.
“The connection between those attackers and at least some elements in the Pakistani government, I do not think they can be credibly denied,” Kaine told Defense Writers Group when asked about Musharraf’s remarks that Pakistan supported and helped terrorist organisations like LeT.
Last week Kaine met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when the latter visited the US Capitol and met members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
War against terrorism, continued presence of terrorist safe havens was one of the major topics of discussion with the visiting Pakistani leader, he said, but noted that Pakistan under Sharif is moving in a different direction as far as war against terrorism is concerned.
“My sense from that visit (of Sharif) and from a trip to Pakistan (in October 2014) is that it has been a very very hard (US-Pak) relationship after the death of (Osama) bin Laden. But I think the arch of it is going in a better direction,” the Senator from Virginia said.
“My sense is that Pakistan is now really going after enclaves of terrorists in North Waziristan and other areas.
They are sincerely doing it. Those (terrorist) organisations are feeling tough pressure. They are fighting back on the Pakistani Government because they are feeling that the Pakistani government is cracking down on them,” he said.
Kaine said that there needs to have better relationship between India and Pakistan. “Pakistan-India relationship is the one we still care deeply about,” he said and expressed concern over the increase in cross border fire on the LoC.
“I think Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s invitation to Sharif as part of the ceremony surrounding his inauguration was a good start to the relationship. But, I haven’t really seen those early promising sign. I do not think those have been followed up sufficiently on either side by India or Pakistan,” he said hoping that there would be more efforts to improve relationship on both sides.