WASHINGTON/CHICAGO: With Indian officials going public with what LeT operative David Headley had told investigators, the US on Wednesday said it fully expects “both countries to live up to their respective responsibilities”.
Amid reports that the Obama administration was upset over Indian officials going into the details provided by Headley, the State Department spokesperson, Mr P J Crowley said the US values cooperation with India on combating terrorism but it places responsibility on both countries.
“We fully expect both countries to live up to their respective responsibilities,” Mr Crowley said at his daily news conference. Crowley was responding to a question about an Indian media report that stated that the US is upset about the statements coming out from senior Indian officials, revealing details of information the Mumbai terror suspect provided to Indian interrogators recently.
At the conclusion of the questioning of Headley by Indian investigators on June 10, the US Justice Department had said: “To protect the confidentiality of the investigations being conducted by both India and the US, both countries have agreed not to disclose the contents of the interviews”.
American officials have reportedly expressed concern that public discussions on Headley could adversely affect the case against him in the United States. “We value the cooperation between India and the United States on law enforcement and combating terrorism; it’s important. It does place responsibilities on both countries,” Mr Crowley said.
The India’s Union Home Secretary, Mr G K Pillai had disclosed last week that Headley had confirmed that Pakistan’s ISI was involved with 26/11 “from beginning to end”. This was followed by the National Security Advisor, Mr Shivshankar Menon speaking on “the links between the official establishment and existing intelligence agencies” in Pakistan as revealed by Headley.
“If anything, it is getting stronger,” Mr Menon had said. Mr Crowley said the US is aware of such statements but restrained from responding in detail. “I’m just going to simply say that our cooperation is significant. It is a vital dimension of our relationship. It’s important for both sides. In this cooperation there are responsibilities that we both have, and I’ll leave it there”.
The Department of Justice refused to make any comment on the issue. “No comments,” a DOJ spokesman said when asked about the reports. Meanwhile in Chicago, Headley’s lawyer John Theis also refused to comment on any of the substance of the meetings that he had with Indian authorities here when they came to interrogate Headley.
The National Investigation Agency team had come here from India in the first week of June to question Headley over the Mumbai attack plot. Sources said they had learnt that sometimes in the Indian press, things are not reported entirely accurately.