No Pakistan-India military
By Muhammad Najeeb
Dec 4 (IANS) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday
she didn't see any Pakistan-India military standoff in the
wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, as President Asif Ali Zardari
promised to assist in the investigation into the strikes.
government will also take strong action against any Pakistani
elements found involved in the attack," a statement from
the presidential office quoted Zardari as telling Rice.
is determined to ensure that its territory is not used for
any act of terrorism," Zardari told Rice.
her part, at a media briefing at the Chaklala air base in
adjacent Rawalpindi after her talks with Zardari, Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani and senior army officials, Rice said: "I
found the Pakistani leadership very focused and committed."
was here on a day's visit after travelling to New Delhi Wednesday
to express US solidarity with India in the wake of the Mumbai
attacks that killed 172 people and injured 248.
those she met here were Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
and Pakistan Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
said Pakistani officials said they would "extend full
cooperation" in the Mumbai investigations.
should act urgently and actively, Rice said and added that
US would extend its full cooperation and assistance to Pakistan
whenever and wherever needed.
a question whether New Delhi shared any evidence of Pakistan's
involvement in the Mumbai attacks, she replied: "Let
me make clear that there is lot of information that can be
said the lines of communication between Pakistan and India
should remain open and both countries should further improve
their relations. She said both Pakistan and India have the
commitment and capacity to deal with terrorists.
termed the Mumbai blasts "terrible yet highly sophisticated",
not earlier seen in this region, and stressed the need for
urgency to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Ambassador Anne W. Patterson and Assistant Secretary of State
for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher accompanied Rice
during her talks with Pakistani leaders.
that the Mumbai attacks were alarming and that all sides need
to work together to prevent such strikes in future, Rice said:
"Everybody wants to prevent further attacks."
and the Pakistani leadership understands the importance of
doing that, particularly in rooting out terrorism and rounding
up whoever perpetrated this attack," she said.
avoided a direct answer to a question on media reports that
India may attack the headquarters of the Lashkar-e-Taiba that
New Delhi blames for the terror strikes. She said Pakistan
was ready to cooperate with India and "I believe negotiations
should remain open."
all roads to Islamabad from the military headquarters where
Rice met Kayani were closed for the public, she was flown
from the GHQ to the presidency in a helicopter amid high security
in the city that has seen several blasts since January, including
the one in September that killed about 50 people at the Marriott
to Pakistan-India relations after the Mumbai attacks, Rice
said these were improving, and with cooperation these should
move forward with the exchange of information and bringing
the perpetrators of the Mumbai blasts to justice.