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U.S.-India Relations

Richard A. Boucher, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
Remarks to the Press
New Delhi, India
January 8, 2009

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: Good evening. Let me say a few words and I’ve only got time to take one question. I just want to say that I’m always happy to be in Delhi -- happy to be back here with Ambassador Mulford, meeting with friends at the Ministry of External Affairs.

I came this time, at this moment, to continue the dialogue that we have been having into the New Year. As you know, last year with the Secretary of State in December, one of our principal topics, of course, was the Mumbai attack -- a horrible attack against Indians, Americans and others -- and how to continue to follow up on that. I would say the United States and India are both determined to make sure we find out who did this, how it was done, and how to make sure it does not happen again. I was able to brief Secretary Menon on our discussions with Pakistan to try to keep that process going ahead. We’re determined to see that through; we’re determined to see this threat to Indians, Americans, the whole world, including Pakistan, to see this threat of terrorism eliminated.

In addition, I think we’re at a moment where we want to look forward in U.S.-India relations as we come into 2009, as we come into a new U.S. Administration. I think both sides have a very strong desire to continue the momentum, continue the achievements, and continue to take this relationship and the people of India and the people of the United States to even bigger and better places. We’re trying to look forward and start this process that will go forward with the new Administration to move the United States and India forward together.

QUESTION: Mr. Boucher, New Delhi is generally not impressed with the steps that Pakistan has taken as far as handling of information that New Delhi has given. Is Washington satisfied with what we’ve seen so far?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY BOUCHER: I think what we’ve seen so far is what we’ve said: it’s a promising start in Pakistan. We’ve seen some people detained, we’ve seen offices go down, they’ve acted against Jamaat ud Dawa. We obviously don’t think that the steps so far have eliminated the threat. The goal that we all have is to make sure this can’t happen again. That’s a continuing process, an ongoing process of dealing with the people that were responsible for organizing this attack and following leads as far as they go to make sure we know everybody that was involved, but also to close down the organizations that were involved in carrying out this attack. We’ve said what we’ve seen is promising, but there is a long way to go to eliminate the threat of terrorism from Pakistani soil.

Thank you.
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