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Pakistan to help in Mumbai attacks probe
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Pakistani President Asif Zardari Thursday assured visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Pakistan will assist in investigation into last week's Mumbai attacks, according to a statement from the Pakistani president office.

"The government will also take strong action against any Pakistani elements found involved in the attack," Zardari told Rice, said the statement.

"Pakistan is determined to ensure that its territory is not used for any act of terrorism," the statement quoted Zardari as saying.

It said that the regional situation with particular reference to the situation arising out of terror attacks in Mumbai came under discussion.

During their meeting, Zardari welcomed Rice on her visit to Pakistan and reiterated that the government would not only assist in investigation but also take strong action against any Pakistani elements found involved in the attack.

Underlining the need for cooperation in investigation, Rice appreciated Zardari's public statements that the government of Pakistan would extend all cooperation in unearthing elements behind the terror attacks, the statement said.

Condoleezza Rice arrived in Islamabad after holding talks Wednesday with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders in New Delhi.

Rice's one-day visit to Islamabad is aimed at reducing tension between Pakistan and India over attacks in Mumbai.

Indian officials have blamed the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) for the Mumbai attacks that has spoiled relations between the two countries.

Besides seeking "strong action" against "elements from Pakistan " linked to the attacks, India has asked Pakistan to hand over 20 most wanted men, including LeT founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.

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 trained in Pakistan if there was concrete evidence against them.

(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2008)

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