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New Delhi Correspondent
American President Donald Trump has said his country stands with the people of India in the fight against terrorism as the latter remembered the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai a decade ago that left 166 people, including those of 14 countries, dead, and hundreds maimed.
“On the ten-year anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, the U.S. stands with the people of India in their quest for justice. The attack killed 166 innocents, including six Americans. We will never let terrorists win, or even come close to winning!” Trump tweeted on Monday. Trump’s tweet came a day after the US State Department announced a new reward of $5 million for helping secure the arrest of those who masterminded the 26/11 attacks from Pakistan on November 26, 2008.
“It is an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.
It is the third such reward offered by the US after the State Department announced bounties of $10 million for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and $2 million for Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, another senior leader of the terror group all based in Pakistan.
In New Delhi, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Monday evening welcomed the statement by the United States calling on Pakistan to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.
The Ministry said Pakistan is showing “little sincerity” in bringing the perpetrators f the Mumbai terror attack, which was planned, executed and launched from Pakistan territory, to justice.
“It is a matter of deep anguish that even after 10 years of this heinous terror attack, the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe still await closure, with Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing perpetrators to justice. The planners of 26/11 still roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity,” New Delhi said in a hard-hitting statement.
“The former Prime Minister of Pakistan had earlier this year admitted that the terrorists were sent from Pakistan’s soil,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in an apparent reference to former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif’s remark to “Dawn” newspaper published in May this year that “should Pakistan allow militants to/non-state actors to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?….why can’t we complete the trial?”
India once again called on Pakistan government to give up “double standards” and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice” as the MEA statement said that “this is not just a matter of Pakistan’s accountability to the families of the innocent victims who fell to terrorists, but also an international obligation.”
To mark the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, a solemn memorial event and wreath laying ceremony was organised on Monday by the government of Maharashtra state at the police memorial in Mumbai and the memorial at the five-star Taj Hotel which was also one of the main targets of the terrorists.