Archive for the ‘Sean McCormack’ Category

Indian PM wants normalized relations with Pakistan

December 14, 2008

India’s prime minister said Sunday he wants “normalized” relations with Pakistan amid rising tensions between the South Asian rivals following the Mumbai attacks that left more than 160 people dead.

Addressing an election rally in Indian Kashmir — a focal point of much of the tension between India and Pakistan — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hopes relations between the neighbors can be “normalized,” but this cannot happen until “our neighbor stops allowing its territory to be used for acts of terrorism against India.”

Singh traveled to Khundru town in Kashmir after a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in New Delhi. The two leaders discussed the attacks on Mumbai, which have been blamed on a Pakistani-based Kashmiri militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India has called on Pakistan to crack down on militant groups operating out of Pakistan.

By AIJAZ HUSSAIN, Associated Press Writer

Pakistan has carried out raids on a charity believed to be linked to Lashkar, but also urged India to provide further evidence.

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

India finds itself in the awkward position of having to investigate terrorist attacks hand-in-hand with its longtime nemesis. The two countries have fought three wars against each other since independence. Despite a peace process that began in 2004, tensions remain high.

Thousands of soldiers used barbed wire and metal barricades to seal off all approach roads to Khundru ahead of Singh’s visit.

The prime minister addressed the rally ahead of the sixth of seven rounds of voting in state elections. The elections for Kashmir’s state legislature started Nov. 17 and end Dec. 24. Voters cast their ballots in the fifth phase on Saturday as scattered clashes between protesters and government forces left one person dead.

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Pakistan Bans Mumbai Terror Group; Not Due To U.S. Pressure

December 13, 2008

Pakistan has banned the Jamat-ud-Dawah for its own interest and not because it was warned by the Bush administration that it stood to be branded as a terrorist state, the US has said.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack was asked to clarify a statement by Pakistan’s Defence Minister that Islamabad had to ban the Jamaat because if that hadn’t happened, it would have been branded a terrorist state.

Times of India

“Is that the message the US has sent out?” McCormack was asked.

“No,” he replied.”… Pakistan did this because it saw it in its interest. As we have said many, many times over, the threat from violent extremists is as much a threat to Pakistani people and the Pakistani government as it is to anybody else. All that said, it’s a welcome step that they took,” he said.

“This is a day-by-day process, and it’s something that requires vigilance every single day, fighting terrorism,” he said making the point that at no time was there any talk of branding Pakistan as a terrorist state.

He said the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan are also likely to be touched upon by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she visits the United Nations next week for discussion on a range of issues including Zimbabwe and piracy.