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Rice refutes 'non-state actors' contention, asks Pak to act tough

New Delhi, Thu, 04 Dec 2008 NI Wire

Refuting ‘non-state actors’ contention responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was in New Delhi on an overnight trip on Wednesday, unambiguously asked Islamabad to take direct and stern action against the perpetrators responsible for the Mumbai carnage.

‘Even if the dastardly act were executed by state-less actors, Pakistan must take direct and tough action against the architects of Mumbai terror strikes, as they functions from the confines of your state,’ said Rice at a joint press conference after meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here on Wednesday.

It is your responsibility to take action against non-state actors if they operate from your territory, she said and added she will be delivering this message to Islamabad on her reach there Thursday.

Pakistan must act with urgency and transparency on the leads in connection with the Mumbai incidents and fulfil its commitments to cooperate fully with India, Rice said taking note of President Zardari’s pledge of Islamabad’s full support to India in the probe.

Underlining the need for global cooperation in combating terrorism of this nature, Rice stressed, ‘we expect all responsible nations to cooperate, and Pakistan has a special responsibility to do so— fully, transparently and urgently.’

'The investigation is still underway. It needs greater intelligence sharing between India and Pakistan,' Rice said noting Islamabad must follow the leads and reach the bottom of incident.

When asked about extreme options that India could take like launching a military strike against terrorist camps, Rice said in a bid to mild tensions, “Any response has to be judged by its effectiveness and not create unintended consequences.”

She asked India to focus on preventing terror strikes and offered to share the US’ post 9/11 experience in dealing with terrorism.

Pranab Mukherjee reiterated India’s demands that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror strikes are arrested and brought to New Delhi from Pakistan; Pakistan honour its commitment of not allowing its territory to aid terrorism.

Rice also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram and expressed Washington's solidarity with India in the wake of the strikes that killed 183 innocent people.

According to a report of New York Times, a former Defence Department official in Washington said on condition of anonymity that former Pakistani army officials and its potent ISI agency helped train the Mumbai terror assailants. However, he said that no specific links had been uncovered yet between the terrorists and Pakistani government.

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