Rice sees no military standoff between Pakistan, India (Lead)

December 4th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 4 (Xinhua) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday Pakistan and India have both given responsible statements and she saw no military stand off between the two neighbours.”I found the Pakistani leadership very focused and committed,” she told reporters after talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and senior army officials.

“I do want to thank you for the leadership role that you have taken,” she told Zardari.

The top US diplomat flew into Islamabad from New Delhi in a bid to defuse tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi blamed elements in Pakistan for last week’s terror attacks in Mumbai which killed 172 people and injured 278.

In her press briefing before departure at the Chaklala airbase on the outskirts of Islamabad, Rice said that she appreciated Pakistan’s offer of cooperation in the Mumbai attack probe.

Besides seeking “strong action” against “elements from Pakistan” linked to the attacks, India has asked Pakistan to hand over 20 most wanted men, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.

Pakistan has offered to conduct a joint investigation into the attacks. But Zardari said Wednesday that the suspects wanted by India in the attacks in Mumbai would be tried in Pakistan if there was concrete evidence against them.

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