The White House said?US trusts Pakistan?s? cooperation as well as its promise to cooperate with India in investigating the Mumbai attacks as it worked towards calming down of tensions between the two? South Asian nuclear armed neighbors.
Dana Perino Press Secretary welcomed Pakistan?s pledge to cooperate in the investigation as a ?good and positive step? and also said she has not heard anything suggesting the Pakistani government?s involvement in last week?s tragic events in Mumbai.
?I heard that the Pakistani government was not involved in Mumbai attack,? she stated in response to a question in the context of Indian insinuations of a Pakistani link to the attacks.She also said the intelligence community continues to look into the Mumbai attacks and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be able to talk about this as goes on this trip to India.
The spokeswoman said the top US leadership has been in contact with the top Pakistani leaders who have said they would work with the Indian government. ?We have been encouraged by the statements by the Pakistanis that they are committed to following whatever leads, we would? expect nothing less of them on this instance,? she added.?
Durring question session, she said the United States trusts? the Pakistani government will fully cooperate in the investigation. ?We have no reason not to (trust) right now. Everything they have said in their public statements and private statements has been encouraging from that regard. Remember Pakistan has been the victim of terrorism as well. It?s not even a year since Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a terrorist and so it is a fresh wound for them as well.??
On reducing tensions in the region, the spokeswoman said Washington has encouraged India and Pakistan to open channels of communication.
?We have encouraged them to open that line of communication and Indians have gotten some responses from the Pakistanis that they are committed to following through on this investigation. That is a good and positive step. We need to continue to make sure that that helps,? she said in reply to a question.
In response to another question, Perino said the US has been consistently encouraging ?India and Pakistan to increase their cooperation and dialogue, we have been working on the composite dialogue, we have provided technical assistance in order to support confidence building measures between the two countries, and we will continue to? do that.
She said ?India has been a victim of terrorist attacks before and so has Pakistan.? But in the Mumbai attacks six Americans have been killed, she added, pointing out the difference.?If you remember the terrorist attacks on the parliament building (in New Delhi) several years ago that fostered a lot of tension between Pakistan and India as well, they have been able to have cooperative conversations, even though they might be tense. That is the kind of diplomatic solution that we are trying to foster here.
Obviously, we want to have reduced tensions wherever possible, the good news is the Pakistanis and the Indians have open lines of communication. This is something they did not have just even a few years ago.? We have encouraged them to open that line of communication and Indians have gotten some responses from the Pakistanis that they are committed to following through on this investigation. That is a good and positive step. We need to continue to make sure that that helps.
Answering a question she said the reasons for Secretary Rice?s travel to India is not only to show solidarity with India but also to stop the terrorist threat from expanding.
It is a stark reminder that we are at war with ideological extremists, who kill innocent people in spectacular ways in order to advance their agenda.
White House?said the other thing the attacks show is that ?we are right to go on the offense to prosecute this war. We have to be fighting them and we have to be right a hundred per cent of the time, they just have to be right once.?