US urges Pakistan to act after Afghan attacks

By AFP
Published: December 8, 2011
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Afghans run from an explosion during a religious ceremony in Kabul city center on December 6, 2011. At least 30 people including children were killed in the huge blast at the entrance to a riverside shrine in central Kabul. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Afghans run from an explosion during a religious ceremony in Kabul city center on December 6, 2011. At least 30 people including children were killed in the huge blast at the entrance to a riverside shrine in central Kabul. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The United States on Wednesday urged greater action by Pakistan against a Sunni Muslim militant group that Afghanistan blamed for an unprecedented massacre against its Shiite minority.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that the banned Pakistani extremist movement Lashkar-e-Jhangvi orchestrated the bloodshed Tuesday on the holy day of Ashura.

Fifty-five people were killed in Kabul and another four in a similar attack in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States did not know the full details of the attacks but that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in mind when she urged Pakistan to act against extremists during an October visit to Islamabad.

“It’s precisely the kind of organization that the Secretary was trying to address when she went to Pakistan in calling for Pakistan to do more to combat this kind of extremist terrorist activity within its own borders,” Toner told reporters.

Pointing out that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been blamed for attacks in Pakistan as well, Toner said: “It’s clearly a threat to both countries.”

“It’s just too important, the threat we face. There needs to be ongoing, sustained and even increased cooperation and coordination between Afghanistan (and) Pakistan and certainly with the international community,” Toner said.

Toner also confirmed that one US citizen was among the dead in Kabul. He said that the American was a civilian and not linked to the US government but declined further details, saying the family had requested privacy.

Karzai on Wednesday vowed to press Pakistan to take action against the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, potentially raising fresh tensions between the neighbors days after Pakistan boycotted an international conference on Afghanistan.

Pakistan asked Afghanistan to share any evidence pointing to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni Muslim extremist movement that was banned in 2001 by then military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was one of the groups implicated in the kidnapping and beheading in 2002 of US journalist Daniel Pearl. But it has not before been tied to attacks in Afghanistan, where the Shia community has largely lived in peace even during the rule of the hardline Sunni Taliban regime.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • kababi
    Dec 8, 2011 - 9:32AM

    And why is it that Pakistan should react? It is really an easy thing to sit put blame of ur failiure on someone else. and US is doing it for a long time.

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  • 2ctruth
    Dec 8, 2011 - 9:34AM

    There is no doubt that the accusations against Pakistan are deception. The Zionists and their agents across the Arab world will work hard to distract the Arab Spring with civil war and sectarian violence. The group of women and beautiful little children were intentionally targeted to illicit rage — for a political end.

    It is interesting that Krazi-eye embraced the opportunity to quickly blame Pakistan. The Zionist puppets and their collaborators across the Arab world will manufacture conflicts to divert the people’s rage as they enrich themselves. And without doubt, the Zionist agents seek to divert the Spring away from the festering injustice in Palestine.

    The assault on these Afghan worshipers is absolutely tragic. And absolutely a political ploy.

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  • Gul Khan
    Dec 8, 2011 - 9:37AM

    While there is no proof of LeJ being involved in the bombing, any action against it by Pakistani authorities shall be on the condition of providing access to those NATO troops who killed 24 Pakistani troops recently.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Dec 8, 2011 - 9:43AM

    If LeJ is involved, then the military for the safety of Pakistan should arrest all of them and hang them. No matter how many. Pakistan is too precious compared to LeJ to take us down the road of self-destruction. That goes for all militant groups. They should all be defanged and their members made to fight in the army’s SAS, ready to face the enemy’s bullets instead of murdering innocent civilians.

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  • Faisal
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:29AM

    Afghanistan has been so peaceful country throughout its history, Karazai has been soo saden by this Attack, we must do something to urgently, pack up and send back all these Afghani’s living in pakistan for so long and responsible for all the wrong activities inside Pakistan, that’s the only solution left, i guess :)

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  • Noor
    Dec 8, 2011 - 10:29AM

    How in-competent are these 40+ countries security people in Afghanistan that can’t keep the capital city safe

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  • faraz
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:05AM

    LeJ has accepted responsibility for Kabul attack. LeJ is the foremost sectarian terrorist organization in Pakistan. It’s behind almost every sectarian terrorist attack inside the country. It must be crushed

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:22AM

    The so called strongest Army in the world, USA, cant handle the situation and now crying for the help from Pakistani Army. Shame on you USA. Shows the real strength of US Army. Clean your crap yourself.

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  • positive pakistani
    Dec 8, 2011 - 12:44PM

    americans have longer noses than pinocchio …. they don’t find it hard to poke it into almost anything :)

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  • Scorpio
    Dec 8, 2011 - 2:41PM

    Sectarian strife amongst Shias and sunnis was unknown in Iraq till the US occupied that country. It is obvious who the perpetrators are…wake up Mr. karzai!

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  • AsliShasli
    Dec 8, 2011 - 2:48PM

    And the proof of LeJ involvement is????? Such baseless accusations does not matter to Pakistan. The amazing thing is that Mr. Karzai have episodic attacks of hysteria one day he is calling on Pakistani support and the very next accusing Pakistan.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Dec 8, 2011 - 3:03PM

    In light of the large number of militant groups in Pakistan, the people and the government have to deal with them. Not only will Pakistan’s reputation as a respectable country be tarnished, the civilians suffer under constant fear and economic setback.

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  • Santaa Singh
    Dec 8, 2011 - 11:07PM

    @AsliShasli: Even LeJ claimed they attacked. You still need the proof ?

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  • American Desi
    Dec 9, 2011 - 3:22AM

    It’s mind boggling to see the zest with which many of Pakistanis embrace ignorance! People are looking for proof of Pakistani involvement even after the sectarian outfit owned up to the carnage. Next line of defense will be LEJ is financed by CIA/Mossad/RAW! Please think and make use of God given brain before you go into extreme denial! It’s for your own good and survival.

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  • Jadugar
    Dec 9, 2011 - 5:27AM

    Have we become so immune and ignorant about terrorism that we are covering up for terrorist groups now. Reading some of the letter’s convinces me that we have lost our way in this world, killing your own kind I the name of religion, These people are leading us all to a dead end.

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