“Important thing is that Pakistan act and that these people are brought to justice”

Washington: United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that there is evidence of involvement “somehow” on Pakistan soil in the Mumbai terror attacks and pressed Islamabad to act quickly to arrest suspects to ensure there is no “follow-on attacks.”

Ms. Rice also advised an “outraged” India to exercise restraint so as to not to make the situation “worse.”

“I think we do believe that there was – there is evidence of involvement somehow on Pakistani soil...even if these were non-state actors, which I believe they were – non-state actors operating on Pakistani soil. It is still Pakistan’s responsibility to respond,” she told Fox News.

Ms. Rice made this remark when asked if she thought the Mumbai attack was launched from Pakistan and were there signs the attackers were trained either by current or former Pakistani military or intelligence?

She said she stressed during her visit to Pakistan last week how important it was for Islamabad to act quickly but denied there was a 48-hour deadline to take action.

“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 don’t happen.”

Ms. Rice was asked to comment on a report that she had asked Pakistan government to arrest a former head of Pakistani intelligence outfit, ISI.

“Well, I don’t want to get into the details of this. This is counter-terrorism work. And obviously, I don’t want to tip their hand or ours. But this is a time when Pakistan must act. They must act in concert with India, with the United States. Great Britain is helping,” she said.

“I was absolutely convinced that President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and other officials understand this is also Pakistan’s fight, because it is trying to root out terrorism and terrorists within that country. So, I did feel that there was a good, strong commitment there. But now we have to see follow-through,” she said. Ms. Rice said that though she could understand the frustration and anger of India, New Delhi should restrict itself from any action that could make the situation worse. — PTI

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