America greatly concerned over Lakhvi’s release: US official Biswal

New Delhi (IANS): The US was “greatly concerned” over the release of Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and supports India’s effort to bring the Mumbai attackers to justice, top US official Nisha Biswal said on Wednesday.

The US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs said here on Wednesday that the US had been hoping to avoid the situation of Lakhvi being released from jail and had “impressed” this concern on Pakistani officials.

“The need for those responsible for those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks to be brought to justice, that is a goal we share with India,” she said at the University of Chicago Center here.

She said US Secretary of State John Kerry had called up Islamabad and said that “efforts be made to re-arrest Lakhvi and to ensure that he does not roam free”.

“We continue to support India’s effort to bring the Mumbai attackers to justice, and to seek justice for those who died in the attacks, which included American citizens as well,” Biswal said.

“We continue to impress upon all our friends across the region that there is no such thing as good terrorist and bad terrorist, and there is only terrorists, and support for terrorists of any kind is not acceptable,” she said.

She also said that while Pakistan has redoubled its efforts to deal with the issue of terrorism following the Peshawar attack on a school, the US does not consider the progress satisfactory.

“Do we think that the progress is satisfactory? Of course not, we want to see more and we want to see it across the board,” she said.

“Terrorism wherever it takes place, is not acceptable. So we will continue to press on that and to find ways to work together to address the concerns where we can to bring pressure to bear where we must,” she added.

She said it would be a shared endeavour not just between US and India, but between the US and Pakistan too.

Lakhvi was released from the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi earlier this month, after Lahore high court suspended his detention and ordered his immediate release.