Clinton Urges Pakistan to Act on Mumbai Terror Suspect

Posted May 7th, 2012 at 6:55 am (UTC-5)
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Pakistan needs to take action against the founder of a terror group blamed for attacks in India.

Speaking at a town hall event Monday in Kolkata, Clinton said Pakistan has not acted on U.S. and Indian calls to capture or try Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. He founded Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which allegedly plotted the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai that killed 166 people – including six Americans.

Clinton also says the United States believes al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is in Pakistan.

The top U.S. diplomat urged India to further cut its oil imports from Iran, as part of a continued campaign to pressure Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

Clinton praised India for reductions it has already made, but said there is enough oil available from other markets for further cuts.

India has enormous energy needs stemming from its rapid growth, and has been critical of a U.S. law imposing sanctions on banks from countries that buy Iranian oil.

Western powers suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program, a charge Tehran denies.

Clinton traveled to New Delhi to meet with top government officials and lay the groundwork for a U.S.-India strategic forum next month in Washington.

She was also expected to raise the issue of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, and discuss a stalled agreement to share water from the Teesta River with Bangladesh.

Clinton held talks earlier with West Bengal State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is a major roadblock to Indian efforts to open its market for direct foreign investment.

Last year, Banerjee forced the government to roll back an order that would have allowed American companies like Wal-Mart to own a 51-percent stake in multi-brand retail operations in India.