US to make Pakistan keep its word on Mumbai attacks

December 5th, 2008 - 10:09 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 5 (IANS) Making clear that to keep its word on fighting terror Pakistan needs to act with resolve and urgency and keep communication lines open with India, the US has said it will try to “to make that happen.”Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has been phoning in updates for President George W. Bush about her conversations with Pakistani leaders about last week’s Mumbai terror attacks, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said Thursday.

Asked what does Pakistan have to do to live up to its commitment to root out terrorists suspected to be involved in Mumbai attacks, she said: “Pakistan needs to act with resolve, urgency; they need to cooperate fully and transparently, and they need to keep the line of communication open between their country and India.”

“And we will continue to try to help to make that happen,” she said.

“Those are the basic” benchmarks, Perino said, noting that Rice herself had said that “she was encouraged by what she had heard from the Pakistanis and she’s going to continue to push them.”

“Because, one, it’s horrible enough that it happened to innocent Indians and also citizens from 10 different countries,” Perino said. “And so we take this very seriously. And we’re going to continue to try to work with the Pakistanis to make sure they follow this to the conclusion that we expect.”

At the State Department, Spokesman Robert Wood said the purpose of Rice’s meetings with Pakistani leaders including President Asif Ali Zardari and Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani “was to underscore the need for Pakistanis to cooperate fully in trying to find out who carried out these attacks.”

The US was “trying to be cooperative and supportive as best we can” with India’s investigation of the attacks, he said. And Rice’s “message in Islamabad was that Pakistan needed to provide full, complete and transparent cooperation with the investigation.”

Asked if the US was satisfied so far from the response from Islamabad, Wood said: “President Zardari has said all of the right things.”

“What’s important now is that we have action. And so the secretary stressed the need for Pakistan to follow through on its pledges. And we’ll see how things progress.”

Asked if in these conversations it’s all carrot and no stick with Pakistan, Wood said: “It’s going to take more than just cooperation between the United States, India and Pakistan. It’s going to take the cooperation of, you know, the entire international community, because terrorism’s a global threat.”

“And so we’re all going to do what we can,” he added.

Asked if Rice urged the Pakistani leadership to go after any particular leaders of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a Pakistan based terror group that is prime suspect in the Mumbai attacks, Wood said: “We don’t know yet who’s responsible for this.”

“But what we’ve said to the Pakistanis is that we need to make sure that Pakistan is doing everything it can to prevent any kinds of attacks like this from originating from their soil.”

Asked if Rice had made any suggestions to the Pakistanis about handing over any of the top 20 terror suspects that India wants extradited, Wood said: “It’s not for us to basically get involved or to tell the Pakistanis specifically how they should respond or not respond.”

“What’s important here is that Pakistan do everything it can, in its power, to cooperate with this investigation and help all of us bring to justice these perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks,” he added.

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