U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with leaders of India and Pakistan to pledge U.S. cooperation in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the November 26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people and injured over 290 others.
In a joint press conference in New Delhi December 3rd, with Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, Secretary of State Rice said, "Americans, perhaps as well as any, understand the feelings that run so deep at a time like this, having experienced the attacks of September 11th. "
Six Americans were among the victims, along with others from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Britain.
At a press conference in Rawalpindi, Pakistan December 4, Secretary Rice spoke about her meetings with Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zadari and other Pakistani leaders.
"We talked at some length about the attack on Mumbai and about the importance of Pakistan taking its responsibility to deal with those who may use Pakistani territory even if they are non-state actors, said Secretary Rice. "And I found a Pakistani leadership that is very focused and, I think, for its own reasons, because Pakistan has been a victim of these terrorist elements, very committed to acting."
In a December 7th interview on U.S. television, Secretary Rice said the United States is already actively engaged in information sharing and in forensic assistance to help identify the terrorists who planned and carried out the attacks in Mumbai. "We expect all responsible nations to participate and cooperate in bringing these perpetrators to justice," she said. Secretary Rice noted, "Pakistan has a special responsibility to do so, to do so transparently, fully, urgently."
Both India and Pakistan have been extensively targeted by terrorists in recent years, including the 2001 attack on India's parliament, the December 2007 assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, bombings in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistan, as well as recent bombings in the Indian cities of New Delhi and Jaipur. More than 3,100 people in Pakistan and 1,460 in India have been killed or injured in terrorist attacks during 2008. "There are many of us who have experienced this terror," said Secretary Rice, "and we stand united in our determination to defeat them."