US recognises Pak as 'hot bed of terrorism': Mittal

Washington, Mar 19 : Appreciating the "responsible" role played by Indian government in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, top US officials have told a group of Indian CEOs that Washington recongnises Pakistan as "hot bed of terrorism which needs to be controlled".

"They appreciated that India has been very responsible in its behavior. The good news is that they (officials of the Obama administration) recognise that Pakistan is the hot bed of terrorism, which needs to be controlled and contained," Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, who is heading a CII delegation here, told reporters.

"I think they are willing to engage with India to build a partnership to ensure that the whole region becomes safer," Mr. Mittal said.

Mr. Mittal led a group of Indian CEOs to meet top officials of the Obama administration yesterday, wherein they expressed concerns over the prevailing situation in the subcontinent, specially terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We expressed concern with the problems we are facing in the Indian subcontinent outside India, in particular the Pakistan and Afghanistan situation on one hand, the continuous Sri Lanka stress, the Bangladesh mutiny, Myanmar issues and Maoist resurgence in Nepal," Mr. Mittal said.

"I was very pleased that for the first time there was a clear acknowledgment that Pakistan issue is serious and needs to be dealt with separately," he said.

Mr. Mittal said there was appreciation in the minds of the US decision makers that India has not reacted or retaliated after the Mumbai attacks on a knee jerk basis and that it took a very mature and measured position of indulging in international diplomacy to put pressure on Pakistan.

The delegation met Jim Steinberg, the Deputy Secretary of State at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of State Department. At the White House they also met Lawrence Summers, Director of the National Economic Council and Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to the US President Barack Obama and Deputy National Security Advisor.

Members of the visiting CEO mission included C K Birla, chairman of Hindustan Motors Ltd; Tarun Das, CII mentor and chairman Haldia Petrochemicals; Pawan Munjal, CEO and Managing Director of Hero Honda Motors; Sunil Kumar Munjal, Chairman of Hero Corporate Services; Vijay Thadani, CEO, NIIT Ltd; and Kiran Pasricha, Executive Director and CEO Aspen Institute India.