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Pakistani president meets with U.S. secretary of state
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15:42, December 04, 2008

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Pakistani President Asif Zardari met Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and discussed the tension between Pakistan and India after the Mumbai attacks.

During their talks, Zardari informed Rice that his government was constantly in touch with the Indian government after the Mumbai attacks and ready to cooperate for investigations. However India did not give positive response, he said.

Rice said that the global threat of extremism and terrorism had to be met by all states, taking a very tough and hard line.

Rice arrived in Islamabad Thursday after holding talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders in New Delhi. Her one-day visit is aimed at reducing the tension between Pakistan and India over the attacks in Mumbai.

After talks in New Delhi, she urged Pakistan to cooperate in investigation into the attacks in a transparent manner to trace who were behind the attacks. She also said that she would convey the message to Pakistan.

The meeting between Rice and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is underway after which she would talk to media at the airport before departure.

Rice's visit comes one day after Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen met in Islamabad with senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders, the U.S embassy said.

"He thanked them for their willingness to assist Indian officials in a joint investigation of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and urged them to investigate aggressively any and all possible ties to groups based in Pakistan," the embassy said in a statement.

"While noting recent success by Pakistan's Armed Forces against extremists in the border regions, Adm. Mullen also encouraged Pakistani leaders to take more -- and more concerted -- action against militant extremists elsewhere in the country," it said.

"All agreed that the tragedy in Mumbai represents a dangerous escalation in the sophistication of extremist attacks and an increased threat to the entire region," the statement said.

Indian officials have blamed the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba(LeT) for the Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 190 people.

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


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