Rice tells Pakistan to act against militant threat

US Secretary of State calls for 'resolve and urgency'

Pakistan came under renewed pressure yesterday to respond to accusations over the Mumbai terror attacks when the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, called for "resolve and urgency" in bringing those responsible to justice.

She said even if the Pakistan government was not involved, it still bore a "matter of responsibility" for militant groups based in the country.

A week after 10 gunmen embarked on a series of attacks at locations across Mumbai that left about 180 people dead, 10,000 people gathered in the city to remember the victims and demand action from politicians.

Ms Rice arrived in Delhi to show "solidarity with India and to restate the US's wish for decisive action from Pakistan. "I have said that Pakistan needs to act with resolve and urgency, and co-operate fully and transparently," she said. "I think we should refrain from speculation about what the Pakistani government might do in response to specific requests, because what has to happen here is there has to be a real sense of transparency, a real sense of action, a real sense of urgency."

The outgoing Secretary of State, who has apparently already briefed President-elect Barack Obama about the Mumbai attacks three times, is due to visit Pakistan today where she will demand action from its politicians. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived last night for talks with Pakistan's military leaders.

The Bush administration, which has provided up to $10bn in military aid to Pakistan since 2001, has so far refrained from specifying what action would be appropriate. But Ms Rice yesterday stressed the need for a full investigation in which both the US and Britain were prepared to help. She said that even if Islamabad had played no part – as President Asif Ali Zardari has repeatedly stated – Pakistan must accept some responsibility if the attack "is related to your territory".

Indian investigators have blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for carrying out the attacks. The Indian government has asked Pakistan to hand over a list of 20 fugitives it says are at large in the country, including Dawood Ibrahim, a Mumbai underworld leader, and Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani Muslim cleric released from jail in India in exchange for hostages from a hijacked plane.

Pakistan says that if there is evidence to convict the men they should be tried by its own courts. Speaking on CNN, President Zardari said he doubted that the sole surviving gunman was Pakistani. "If we had the proof, we would try them in our courts, we would try them in our land and we would sentence them," he said. "I think these are stateless actors who have been operating throughout the region. The gunmen, plus the planners, whoever they are, they are stateless actors who are holding hostage the whole world."

Observers in Pakistan say that while the government may wish to co-operate with India, it would not wish to be seen to be pressured by the authorities in Delhi. "I think there is a sense here that Pakistan should co-operate and there is great sympathy [for the people of Mumbai]," said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a political analyst at Lahore University of Management. "But the way that India has reacted, by putting pressure on Pakistan and saying there is no difference between the state or institutions or other such [things], is something that hurts."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Chef is required to join one of the largest ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is required to jo...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor