‘An ‘affront’ to 26/11 victims that perpetrators roam free’: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State was speaking on the 11th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks

Speaking on the 11th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that it was an “affront” to the victims and their families that the perpetrators have still not been convicted.

“We remember the 166 innocent victims, including six Americans. The brutality of the attack shocked the entire world,” Mr. Pompeo said at a State Department briefing.

“It is an affront to the victims and the families that those who planned the Mumbai attacks have still not been convicted,” the Secretary said, echoing a sentiment he had expressed on the 10th anniversary of the attacks last year.

The U.S., like India, wants Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (now ‘Jamaat-ud-Dawah’ or JuD, prosecuted.

Saeed is currently under house arrest in Pakistan. However, while the country has taken steps to crack down on the activities and financial assets of Saeed and his associates in the past, those actions have not been “sustained and irreversible”, a characterisation of the type of action the U.S. has sought from Pakistan on the anti-terror front.

One of those who was involved in the Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, was caught alive and executed by India in 2012. The U.S. has convicted two individuals for their roles in the attack: David Headley, an American of Pakistani descent, and Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian of Pakistani descent.

Last month, the U.S.’s top South Asia diplomat, Alice Wells, had asked Pakistan to prosecute Saeed along with four LeT leaders it had arrested last month. Pakistan’s actions came before a significant meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global financial watchdog that had placed Pakistan on a “greylist” for not taking sufficient action to prevent terror financing.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:37:09 AM |

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