Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed confidence in the Pakistani government’s commitment to cracking down on terrorist groups operating within its borders after meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and other Pakistani officials on Thursday.
AP via Google News:
“I found a Pakistani government that is focused on the threat and that understands its responsibilities to respond to terrorism and extremism wherever it is found,” Rice said following sessions with the country’s powerful army chief and civilian leaders.
The U.S. wants broader sharing of intelligence and a commitment by Pakistan to root out terror groups that have found a comfortable haven in the Muslim country. To stress that message and heighten pressure on Pakistan’s new civilian government, the administration sent both Rice and its top military officer to seek Pakistani aid in uncovering the origins of the Mumbai attack that India blames on Pakistani militants.
Rice was in Pakistan for only a few hours after expressing U.S. condolences in India for more than 170 deaths in Mumbai. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen met a day earlier with key Pakistani leaders.
The Americans carried a message both blunt and subtle: There’s no denying the Pakistani fingerprints in the coordinated attack on India’s financial capital Mumbai, and the terrorist threat could just as easily be turned inward.
“There is a lot of information about what happened,” Rice told reporters at the conclusion of her visit, “a lot of information.”