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Hafiz Saeed principal architect of 26/11: Hillary


Suhasini Haidar,CNN-IBN
May 08, 2012 at 10:25pm IST

New Delhi: India and the US voiced their concerns over Pakistan's continued support to terror outfits in the meeting between US secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday.

Spelling it out, Hillary finally answered India's questions on the US's position on Hafiz Saeed. She said Hafiz Saeed was one of the principal architects of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

"We wanted to make it visible and very clear that the US has reason to believe that Hafiz Saeed has been one of the principal architects of the attacks on Mumbai," said Hillary at the joint press conference.

In a one hour long meeting with Krishna, ahead of next month's strategic dialogue, Hillary and Krishna spoke of cooperation on terror.

"We look to the government of Pakistan, to do more. It needs to ensure that its territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks on other states including Pakistan," Hillary said.

But while the message on Pakistan was united - they differed on Iran - with India refusing to give the US a commitment on cutting oil imports.

"Iran remains an important source of oil for us, although its share in our imports is declined ultimately it reflects that the decision that the refineries make based on commercial considerations," Krishna said.

The two sides also discussed visa issues for Indian IT professionals in the US. The two leaders also discussed the next steps in the Indo-US civil nuclear deal. On Afghanistan, Hillary praised India's role.

While India seems satisfied with Hillary's plain speaking on Pakistan, it remains to be seen how much the two sides can work together on Iran, given India faces US sanctions by the end of June if it doesn’t curb its substantial energy dependence on Iran. The issue is likely to dominate the strategic dialogue in Washington next month, where Krishna and Hillary will meet again.

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