We will continue to press Pak 'hard' on terror: Clinton

Promising to lean 'hard' on Pakistan terror, the US today asked it not to give "safe havens and free pass" to terrorists even as it pledged support to India in protecting its cities in the backdrop of last week's Mumbai terror attacks.

This reaffirmation was made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the end of the second annual Indo-US Strategic Dialogue during which she discussed with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna terrorism, nuclear cooperation, situation in Afghanistan and a host of other key issues.

Clinton told a joint press conference that the US has made it clear to the Pakistani Government that "confronting violent extremism of all sorts is in its interest. We do not believe that there are any terrorists who should be given safe havens and free pass by any government."

At the same time there were limits to what the US and India can do to push Pakistan to bring to justice perpetrators of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, she said. But "we intend to continue to press as hard as possible," she said.

On another key issue of Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, Clinton said the US was "fully" committed to the pact with India but asked it to ratify the UN convention on nuclear damages and bring its domestic liability regime in line with international norms.

She also made it very clear that there were "issues" which required to be resolved by the two sides in the civil nuclear field. But she did not go into the specifics.

She also allayed fears that the recent Nuclear Suppliers Group decision to strengthen guidelines on transfer of Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology (ENR) will impact on the Indo-US deal, saying the 46-nation grouping's move should not be construed as detracting from the "unique impact and importance" of the pact between India and the US.

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