Mumbai attack: Rice denies India setting Pakistan a 48-hour deadline to deliver

December 8th, 2008 - 12:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec.8 (ANI): US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday denied that India had given Pakistan a 48-hour deadline to take action against those behind last months terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed close to 200 lives and caused injuries to about 300.
Interviewed on Fox television, Rice said there was evidence of involvement of Pakistani elements in the attacks and added that they were non-state actors.
She echoed remarks from Pakistans Foreign Office denying Islamabad had agreed to a 48-hour timetable to take action against Pakistanis accused of involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
No. Theres not a timetable involved here, the US top diplomat said.
But I do think that Pakistan has a responsibility to act. I did say to the Pakistanis that the argument that these are non-state actors is not acceptable. Non-state actors in your territory are still your responsibility, the Daily Times quoted her, as saying.
The important thing is that Pakistan act and that these people are brought to justice and that any information that they may have is put to use in making sure follow-on attacks dont happen, Rice told Fox.
Obviously, this is counter-terrorism work. Its hard work. And its not as if these people are sitting on the surface, she said, adding that Pakistani leaders understood their responsibilities and now were waiting.
According to The News, Rice on Sunday also emphatically said that it would be unwise on Indias part to launch unilateral strikes against any militant targets on the Pakistani soil in the wake of Mumbai incident.
She said that New Delhi should avoid anything that may worsen the South Asian situation.
She also did not back New Delhis demand to hand over any suspects caught by Pakistan and instead said the objective should be to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice.
Rice, who travelled to the region this week as part of efforts to ease tensions between the two nuclear nations, told media that she also believed that the Pakistani government very much wants to do the right thing as its leaders understand their responsibility.
Well, I think they should not do anything that will make the situation worsen, she said when asked about Washingtons position on India taking any unilateral action.
When it comes to something like this, it is important not to take steps that will make the situation worse. The regional circumstances here are such that any response should be focused on getting the perpetrators and making sure that follow on attacks dont happen. And I emphasized that to the Indian government.
Rice said she did not hear a lot of bellicose talk between, by the Indian leaders or with Pakistani leaders.
This is a relationship between India and Pakistan that has improved. And, they are trying to build on that. But India expects Pakistan to act, and so does the United States, she said. (ANI)

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