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Terrorism & Security

Rice demands 'robust' cooperation from Pakistan in Mumbai probe

While Pakistan confronts growing evidence that the terrorist attack was carried out by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, India braces for further sea, air assaults

By Huma Yusuf / December 4, 2008

Arriving in Islamabad on Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded that the Pakistani government provide "robust" and "effective" cooperation to India in investigating last week's attacks in Mumbai. In talks with the Pakistani leadership, Ms. Rice stated that enough evidence was now available pointing to the involvement of a Pakistan-based extremist group in last week's attacks. Meanwhile, airports in India remained on high alert owing to the threat of further militant strikes.

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According to The Guardian, Rice flew to Islamabad after her trip to New Delhi to help diffuse tensions between long-time rivals India and Pakistan.

During her brief visit, Rice first met the head of Pakistan's powerful army, General Ashfaq Kayani, before holding talks with [President Asif Ali] Zardari and the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, who lead an eight-month-old civilian government.
Her main task is to somehow prevent growing anger in India and reciprocal resentment in Pakistan spilling over into border tensions, or worse, between the nuclear-armed neighbours, who have already fought three wars since independence.

During talks with the Pakistani leadership, Rice insisted that Pakistan promptly and responsibly follow up on allegations that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks had links to a Pakistan-based group, reports The Hindu.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who flew in on Thursday morning from New Delhi and held talks with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, said Pakistan must provide "robust" and "effective" cooperation to India in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror strikes to justice.
"We talked at length about the importance of Pakistan taking its responsibility to deal with those who may use Pakistan territory even if they are non-state actors," she said at a press conference here after her meetings with the Pakistani leadership.
"Pakistan needs to investigate the circumstances under which these attacks took place in Mumbai," said Rice who was provided evidence by India yesterday about involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in last week's attacks.

The Pakistani prime minister responded positively to Rice's request for cooperation between the two countries to fight terror, reports the Associated Press.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told Rice later during a meeting in Islamabad that the Mumbai attacks were "beyond anyone's imagination" and stressed his government's efforts to boost relations with India since taking office in March.
"My instinct was to fight against terrorism," Gilani said.

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