Washington, Apr.25 (ANI): The commander of US forces in the Middle East has claimed that the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group is planning to carry out more attacks similar to one launched on Mumbai in November last year.
The Daily Times quoted CENTCOM chief General David Petraeus as telling lawmakers here: "We should observe that the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that carried out the Mumbai attacks, we think they're trying to do more damage and they're trying to carry out additional attacks."
Warning of further attacks, General Petraeus said the US expected "that extremists that are trying to cause that kind of tension and also to take (Pakistan's) focus off of the internal extremist threat would indeed strive to do that."
He also said that Pakistan's leaders must recognise that internal extremists and groups such as the Taliban pose the most pressing threat to their country.
General Petraeus said his team needs funds to be able to focus on training and equipping forces to conduct counter-insurgency operations.
Saying that special envoy Richard Holbrooke's portfolio very much includes India, General Petraeus acknowledged that reducing Pakistan-India tensions is critical to getting Islamabad focus more effectively on its fight against terrorists along the Afghan border.
Citing a number of visits to New Delhi and Islamabad by senior US officials, he said, Washington is working hard to ease tensions between the two nations.
The general was giving a closed-door testimony before the Defence Appropriations Sub-Committee in the House, but Friday was his most direct public comments on the request, which includes 400 million dollar to help train and equip Pakistan forces in counter-insurgency operations. (ANI)