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By Paula Wolfson
30 November 2008
U.S. President George Bush is pledging full support for the investigation into the terrorist attack in Mumbai that killed roughly 175 people in India's financial capital. President Bush has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to travel to India. Secretary Rice will arrive in India Wednesday after attending a NATO meeting in London. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports Mr. Bush is keeping in direct contact with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
President Bush called Prime Minister Singh on Sunday. It was their second conversation since the Mumbai attack began to unfold on Wednesday.
|President George W. Bush makes a statement on the attacks in Mumbai, on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, 29 Nov 2008|
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe says Mr. Bush underscored his full support for the investigation into the attack. He says the president assured the prime minister that the U.S. will provide all necessary resources and will work with the international community to bring those responsible for the bloodshed to justice.
Meanwhile, the terrorist attack half a world away dominated the news interview programs that air every Sunday on American television.
On ABC's This Week, Richard Lugar - the senior Republican on the Senate Relations Committee - noted that India has linked the Mumbai terrorists to elements in Pakistan. He stressed the need for high-level diplomacy to deal with escalating tensions in the region.
"I am confident that there is a good opportunity at this point for the Indians and Pakistanis to understand that the dissident group that probably caused this could cause harm to both of them," said Senator Lugar.
Appearing on the same program, Democrat Jack Reed, a member of Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked about pressure from inside India on the government to do something to stop militants from crossing over from Pakistan. He said India is keeping a close watch on the next steps taken by the Pakistani leadership.
"I think they are looking for some tangible signs from the Pakistanis, not just rhetorical flourishes - tangible signs that they are going to take effective action," said Senator Reed.
The Pakistani Ambassador to the United States - Husain Haqqani - told CNN's Late Edition that his country has condemned the Mumbai attack and is on the same side as India and the United States in combating terrorism.
"And I don't think we will leave any stone unturned in helping with the investigation or dealing with any individual or group that might have connection with it as long as we have evidence against them," said Husain Haqqani.
Haqqani stressed that while the terrorists in this case may have lived or trained in Pakistan that does not mean there was any official sanction of their acts. He said Pakistan has also been a victim of terrorism, and it is time for Pakistanis and Indians to work together to deal with a common threat.