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Remarks by Secretary Rice En Route Pakistan

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
En Route Pakistan
December 4, 2008

SECRETARY RICE: All right, we don’t have a great deal of time, so I’ll mostly take your questions. But let me just say that I’m now going to go to Pakistan to discuss the response. And it’s -- really has to be an international response to the events in Mumbai. The Pakistani Government has made clear its intention to cooperate, because Pakistan also is at war with these extremists. That’s a point that President Zardari has made many times, that extremists have wreaked havoc in Pakistan. And so the global threat of extremism and terrorism has to be met by all states, taking a very tough and hard line. And so that’s what I’m going to go and discuss.

But also, I want to have a chance to discuss the continuing efforts the United States is making to help this civilian government deal with the many problems that it has, including economic problems. We were pleased to see the conclusion of the agreement with the IMF, and look forward to helping Pakistan to capitalize on that agreement with the IMF to get more support from the international community over the next several months. So that’s the agenda.


QUESTION: Do you think that the Zardari government is actually capable of doing what you’re asking it to do or would it really have to be the function of the army and the intelligence services to actually go after people on Pakistani soil?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, it’s clearly going to have to be the government as a whole. And the civilian leadership has the basis of legitimacy, which is that it’s an elected government for the first time, elected civilian government for the first time in Pakistan in more than a decade. And I think that gives it considerable legitimacy.

In all of the conversations we’ve had with all of the institutional actors in Pakistan, they’ve emphasized the unity of the Pakistani Government, and I think that’s the basis on which we should act.

QUESTION: Are you carrying any messages from the Indian Government in trying to get the Pakistanis to do more and to cooperate more fully and transparently, as you said? And also, are you going to bring up the issue of the 20 fugitives? This list seems to be important, very important to the Indians in terms of offering a sign that they are doing more.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think Pakistan has to determine its own response here. It just needs to be a robust response, and it needs to be one that is effective in both helping the international community. The United States, which lost citizens in this attack, the UK, which lost citizens in this attack and, of course, India, to respond to this situation so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice. But I’ve also been emphasizing the importance of prevention here of further attacks. And so the Pakistanis are sophisticated. They are – they have been dealing with terrorism themselves for some time. And so I’m going there to talk about a Pakistani response not to carry messages, per se.

QUESTION: You had breakfast this morning with Admiral Mullen. Did you get the sense that the Pakistani Government and the Pakistani Army are going to help the way you want?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I did have a discussion with Admiral Mullen, who had had extensive discussions in Pakistan. And he really, I think, got a sense of the commitment of the Pakistani Government to the public messages that they’ve been issuing, understanding that this is an important time for the international community. It’s an important time for Pakistan.

I want to emphasize again, President Zardari and the Prime Minister and the entire Pakistani Government has been emphasizing their need to deal with extremism. And so this is not a matter of the international community somehow in juxtaposition or against the Pakistani Government, this is an international response to terrorism that is hurting everyone. And so I think Admiral Mullen got a very strong sense that that was the view of the Pakistani Government.

Thank you.

Released on December 4, 2008

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