At his press briefing on Friday, US State Department’s Acting Deputy Spokesperson Jeff Rathke said: “We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. We have communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months, and as recently as yesterday. Terrorist attacks are an assault on the collective safety and security of all countries. Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”
The official US spokesperson refused to go beyond expressing concern vis-a-vis the latest development in Pakistan. When a journalist asked – “you are giving them quite a bit of a deal on defense equipment. Will there be any repercussions of this? Or just words?” the reply was: “we’re, again, as I said, gravely concerned about this development.”
When grilled further and asked “if there are no teeth to your grave concern, if there are no consequences that are possible, then why should the Pakistanis take your grave concern seriously?”
The US spokesperson said that this has just happened in the last few hours. So of course we’re going to look at this development and decide what consequences to draw from it.
When the spokesperson’s attention was drawn to the six Americans who died in the 26/11 Mumbai attack and President Obama’s repeated assertion that the perpetrators of violence and terrorists will be hunted down anywhere an American is lost and he was confronted with the commonly perceived scenario and told how the US in other countries, immediately talks of sanctions, whereas in the case of Pakistan reacts by saying it’s been (only) 24 hours, Rathke said without giving a timeline that certainly, bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice is a key priority. And the US stands by that.